2019 – a review
Let’s be honest, I can’t imagine there are that many prolifers who are sad to say goodbye to 2019. It’s certainly one of the toughest years I can remember. Tragically, the very first day of 2019 began with the commencement of abortion procedures in Ireland; in April, social abortion was introduced onto the Isle of Man; in June the highest ever abortion figures for England and Wales were released (205,295) and the year was to end with the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland from the end of October, with the promise that England and Wales would be next. I’ve worked for Life for 13 years and never has the situation felt more dire. So why is this happening? Why does the situation feel so bleak? Well, there are a number of potential reasons we could explore:
- As one of my colleagues has been saying, we have just lived through one of the most anti-life parliaments that we’ve ever had the displeasure to experience. Ten-minute rule bills, that should never have proceeded to another reading, were successful. Abortion was forced onto Northern Ireland as the result of some clever Westminster politics and government funding for Marie Stopes International was increased by 5000%. I’m regrettably forced to admit that the ‘We Trust Women’ campaign, (which advocates no legal upper limit for abortion) certainly seems to be in full swing.
- Free speech around abortion is being slowly eroded. At Universities we’re seeing increasing efforts to stop any debate on this issue. Increasing numbers of Universities are adopting a pro-choice stance which far from opening up debate and allowing for all points of view, shuts it down to the extent that prolife societies become vilified and even in some cases (as we saw at Cardiff University) targets of threats and verbal abuse.
Making an impact
I could go on, but we run the risk of losing all hope altogether. So let’s turn to the positives from 2019 – yes there are a few.
- An average of over 80 women are reaching out to Life’s Pregnancy Matters™ services every single day.
- Our Life Matters® Officers spoke to over 25,000 students across the country in the last school year
- We delivered our roadshow to the Great Yorkshire Show and Wolverhampton
- We received some of the best media coverage we’ve had thanks to our win against Lambeth Council earlier this year.
Promote Life’s services in 2020
2020 is the year we will celebrate Life’s 50th birthday and I’m sure the abortion lobby in 1967 would not have expected us to still be here, let alone with our services thriving. There’s no doubt we have much to mourn, but we cannot let ourselves be defeated; we can never let ourselves forget that lives truly are at stake. In these dark days and times it can feel tempting to cave into pressure and stop talking about the baby in the womb and the women who are seeking alternatives to abortion while quietly saying to ourselves ‘I’m sure someone else is doing it…’ Allow me to encourage you to make a New Year’s resolution . . .
. . .talk about it more! If individuals don’t hear about our services, fewer people will be able to benefit from them. If we don’t speak about the alternatives to abortion, women won’t know that abortion is not their only choice. If we don’t remember to talk about the baby in the womb and the value of their life, these tiny human beings will continue to be devalued in our society to the point where there will no longer be a question over the ethics of abortion. Believe me, I know this seems like an impossible task – to turn the tide against abortion in favour of positive alternatives; especially with the year we’ve just had, but as Nelson Mandela said, ‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’ As we move into a new decade let’s remember that nothing is impossible and that the ‘journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step’(Lao Tzu). Maybe that step is yours.