Campaigners from across the UK took part in the March For Life UK on Saturday. Starting from Church House, in Great Smith Street, the 5,000-strong march finished in Parliament Square for a rally. Participants sang hymns and prayed. The march comes amid calls on Westminster to extend abortion rights in Northern Ireland and to make extreme changes to abortion legislation in England and Wales. A small group of pro-choice campaigners, warning of the dangers of returning to back street abortions, staged noisy protests during the march.
Speaking in Parliament Square, Scottish Bishop John Keenan recalled William Wilberforce's role in abolishing slavery and how slaves had been dehumanized as non-persons. Similarly, abortionists need to dehumanize the unborn child so they could kill him in the womb, he said.
Quoting Wilberforce Bishop Keenan said: "Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me. You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know… If you're a leader in society, civic, as an MP, or in the Church as a priest or a bishop, be brave, be courageous, because this battle will be won not just by the truth, but it will be won by courage, too," Keenan said. Bishop Keenan closed the rally with prayers.
America abortion survivor, Melissa Ohden, said: "I am standing here with you today as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a Master's level prepared social worker, and yes, as an abortion survivor. You would never tell by looking at me today, but 41 years ago, I survived a "failed" saline infusion abortion. Despite the miracle of my survival, the doctor's prognosis for my life was initially very poor. My adoptive parents were told that I would suffer from multiple disabilities throughout my life. However, here I am today, perfectly healthy. Whether I had lived with the expected disabilities or not, my life still deserved to be protected and respected, I still was worthy of the love that my family freely offered.
In my work as the founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, I have had contact with 286 other abortion survivors, including five from the UK, four of whom are still alive today."
President of Culture of Life Africa, Obianuju Ekeocha told the crowds: "I am here to lament about the human rights issue of our time. Abortion in this country has been legal now for more than 50 years and has taken the lives of more than nine million people. We are all gathered here today in this special venue because we have come to raise our voices to this parliament, because this parliament has it wrong."
Before the march, a series of workshops were held in Church House. Clare McCullough founder and Director of The Good Counsel Network gave a workshop entitled: What it means to be a Pro-Life woman. Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy at Christian Concern, Dr Ronan Cleary from Doctors For Life Ireland, and Pastor Darnell and Karen Starks of the Crookston Baptist Church in Glasgow also spoke during the morning workshops.
For more information see: www.marchforlife.co.uk/
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