United rally shows the true compassion of pro-lifers

16 May 2024

Chief Executive Andrea Williams reflects on the joint pro-life rally on 15 May outside parliament

Everyone should come to a pro-life rally.

On Wednesday, hundreds of pro-life supporters joined together in Parliament Square to say no to abortions up to birth.

A genuine partnership between many pro-life groups, it was a joy to see so many people of all ages in the Westminster sunshine.

The message was simple: no to abortion up to birth.

Two radical amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill have been put forwards that would decriminalise abortion, essentially eliminating legal consequences for killing an unborn child, as long as that child is unwanted.

I suspect that nearly everyone at the rally would tell you that all abortion is wrong; it takes the life of an innocent child. But there is something particularly perverse about this push from the abortion industry. We know that premature babies can often live outside their mothers’ wombs from the existing abortion time limit of 24 weeks (and even earlier).

Since abortions at an earlier stage are de facto available for any reason, it is these older, more viable babies who are particularly being targeted by Diana Johnson’s amendment. They are no different to babies who are being cared in a nearby hospital neonatal unit, but could be deliberately poisoned with deceitfully-obtained, dangerous abortion pills, with no legal consequences whatsoever.

It was this threat of such an inhumane threat to human life that pulled so many people (about 300) together at such short notice. The unity between all the pro-life groups was a joy to witness. The supporters from various groups who had dropped plans and made the effort to come along was inspiring.

A member of our team spoke to a gentleman who has been a long-time SPUC supporter. He said that he had been out in London, rallying back in 1967 when the Abortion Act was first passed. I can barely imagine what he has experienced, witnessing the tragic expansion of abortion in the UK.

At the other end of the age spectrum were mothers with babies and toddlers. Smart, young, determined advocates for the unborn in their 20s and 30s.

Being in such a crowd is deeply encouraging.

When you are online, watching a video or reading an article about abortion it can be very intimidating to share it. How will my family, friends, church members, employer, neighbours react? We can become timid, fearing a negative reaction or an ugly conversation.

Being among friends helps shake off these shackles.

Hearing from the many pro-life speakers from the many pro-life organisations represented – and from appreciative MPs – reminds us that opposing abortion is the only way to be compassionate.

One of the most striking speeches was from Rachel Mackenzie of Rachel’s Vineyard.

She shared from her extensive experience counselling women suffering trauma following abortion.

Pro-lifers are often branded as uncompassionate towards women; Rachel reminded us just how false that characterisation is.

Take the abortion industry’s pet policy of pills by post, DIY abortion that was pushed through during the Covid lockdown and never undone.

When Christian Concern led the charge in challenging the policy’s legality, we pointed to how it would enable illegal, dangerous, late-term medical abortions. Tragically, our predictions came true and we began seeing the human cost.

DIY abortion is favoured by abortionists because it is cheap for them and ‘convenient’ for women. But as many of the women have found, it moves the abortion firmly into the home of the women.

In five years, at least 39,000 women have had complications from medical abortions, many having traumatic experiences within their own home. They need to be helped, in Rachel’s words, “to breathe again”.

Dr Dermot Kearney (pictured) was temporarily blocked from providing emergency life-saving treatment to unborn babies for women who regret taking the abortion pill.

There is nothing embarrassing about being pro-life, or anti-abortion. The World wants us to think that our cause is hopeless and immoral.

But it isn’t.

Being among determined pro-lifers was a helpful reminder, but so was what happened when I left.

At the end of the rally, I jumped in a black cab and told the cabbie what we’d been doing.

He immediately told me that he had been in a relationship aged 17 and his girlfriend had got pregnant. They were scared and were told to abort the child.

He said that this was the biggest regret of his life. No one had told him that it would work out okay. He said his child would be 33 years old now and that he hadn’t had any children since.

He did have some step children and tells them that if they ever have a ‘crisis pregnancy’ to keep the child.

Compassion, love and truth mean protecting the cabbie, helping him to see another path and to live it.

What’s next? Inside the House of Commons, MPs focused on other amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill. The abortion amendments are now expected to be debated on Tuesday 4 June.

This only gives us another opportunity.

We will be back again to show our heart for unborn, for justice. And with it comes the opportunity for many other Christians to join us and be equipped and inspired to stand for life.

Could that be you? Could it be your friends from church?

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Find out more about DIY abortions
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