For the baby in the womb, life begins on Day One.
But if there are to be many more days in their lives and if, One Day, there is to be change, you must become their guardian, their champion, and their voice…..
April 27 marked the 52 year anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act coming into force.
A law which was intended to allow for abortion in certain limited circumstances, quickly unravelled into an out of control abortion law, as foreseen by a small handful of MPs at the time.
The devastating consequences have included a fundamental shift in how our society treats those who are unborn – who are now left with little or no rights.
In the 52 years since the passing of the Act, 9,446,068 human lives have been lost. Millions may seem incomprehensible. So think of these numbers like this. They equate to one human life being ended every three minutes in our country; or 20 deaths each and every single every hour, day in and day out.
The sheer scale of these deaths alone should serve as a wake-up call to our society.
Right across the country we are letting down women and babies in the womb. We need a fundamental and radical rethink to ensure that both groups get the support they so desperately need. Why? because both lives matter.
April 8 this year also marked 10 years since Royal Assent was given to the 2010 Equality Act.
It is legislation designed to end discrimination faced by groups within our society.
If it meant what it says, we would be offering protection to both women and the unborn – yet, since the passing of the Equality Act, we have seen regular attempts from the abortion lobby, and some political parties, to further tip the scales against the child by extending the provision of abortion in the United Kingdom – as if one abortion every 3 minutes wasn’t enough.
Earlier this year, we saw the UK Government and British Parliament impose the most extreme abortion policy in Europe on Northern Ireland.
Thanks to Northern Ireland not adopting the Abortion Act 1967 it had been a safe haven and a beacon of hope – with 100,000 lives saved in Northern Ireland over the past 52 years.
Sadly: The new abortion regulations permit abortion, for any reason, up to 12 weeks, including the sex of the baby – permitting “gendercide” – and, given similar wording to the Abortion Act 1967, essentially permitting abortion on demand up to 24 weeks’ gestation as well as abortion up to birth after the diagnosis of those with disabilities including cleft clip, clubfoot and Down’s Syndrome. So much for the equality of those with disabilities.
But this also made a mockery of all the political rhetoric about respecting devolution; accepting diversity; encouraging plurality.
The people of Northern Ireland are opposed to these changes, demonstrated by the 79% of those who responded to the consultation stating they wanted no further provision of abortion in Northern Ireland.
But the opposition expressed in the consultation was totally disregarded by the UK Government and Parliament – and those pressing for change even used the coronavirus lockdown period to publish the implementation Regulations – cynically and opportunistically using Covid 19 as cover: the cover of darkness.
The only place where this can now be challenged is in the re-established Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont. So it is vitally important that its MLA’s are fully aware of the strong opposition to these regulations.
Another 100,000 lives can be saved over the next 50 years if this legislation is repealed.
If you are from Northern Ireland, please email your MLA’s today, urging that legislation is brought forward to repeal these regressive regulations.
But it is not just in Northern Ireland that we need activists on the ground to email their elected representatives – and to become advocates for life, champions of the unborn.
We need people in Scotland to email their MSPs, people in Wales to email their AM’s, and people throughout the UK to email their MP.
There are plenty of developments and encouraging news about which our elected representatives must be made aware. No one else is likely to tell them unless you do.
Tell them about Heidi Crowter, a 24 year old woman with Down’s Syndrome, who is taking the UK Government to court, challenging the current discriminatory interpretation of law which permits abortion up to birth after the diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome. Heidi’s courage to take on this abhorrent policy should greatly encourage us all.
Tell them about the recently released report of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group on foetal pain, presenting the growing evidence that unborn babies may be able to feel pain much earlier than the 24-week time-limit.
Tell them about a young woman, Anna-Maria, who recently launched a legal case against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. She had never been told that her baby may feel pain when she went to have an abortion at 23 weeks – a decision she now deeply regrets.
In addition, public support for pro-life position is growing.
Tell them that, according to polling, 70% of women want to see the abortion time-limit lowered, with 59% wanting the time-limit to be 16 weeks or lower.
Tell them about how scientific developments have opened a window on the vulnerable, delicate, exquisite beauty of life in the womb.
As science develops, people are slowly beginning to see the intrinsic value of human life in the womb.
We must open their eyes and their minds to how society has previously been tricked into believing that life begins at an arbitrary point and that ending and destroying it can never be justified as merely one more choice.
Yes, in Parliament, our communities, and our families, we must mitigate, ameliorate and save every life we can, recognising that fundamental change comes piece by piece. This requires hard headed realism, a willingness to work in alliances with people where they are, not necessarily where you would want them to be, but where you hope they will be one day.
None of which requires us to conceal what we ourselves believe. And what is that?
It is the scientific certainty that the only defining moment at which you can say you began to be you, and I began to be me, is Day One – and that equality and our human rights, founded on the supreme human right, the very right to life itself, must begin from that defining moment.
So, as we seek to shift understanding, and to move opinion, we must patiently chip away at unjust and discriminatory laws, to a position where equality must begin from day one.
Be inspired that others have done this successfully. Think of the 40 year campaign of William Wilberforce – ferociously resisted by the vested interests of his day.
In combatting unjust laws he knew that things would only be changed by patiently and constantly laying the evidence before Parliament and the public, saying:
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” .
And he also knew that opponents would accuse him of obsessive fanaticism. He countered by declaring:
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.
Among you today will be new Wilberforces and you, too, must be feelingly alive to the suffering of our fellow creatures – those craving our protection, sheltering in their mother’s wombs, safe havens, sanctuaries, that have become the most dangerous place to be in Britain.
For the baby in the womb life begins on Day One.
But if there are to be many more days in their lives and if, One Day, there is to be change, you must become their guardian, their champion, and their voice.