Brilliant day of fun and pro-life outreach in London
Posted by Daniel Blackman on 23 July 2013
Last Saturday a group of SPUC staff, volunteers, interns, and the leader of 40 Days for Life in the UK hosted a display stall at Lewisham Peoples Day and one of the team, Kara, did loads of free face painting for the children (the stall a few metres away were charged £2!).
The day attracts over 25,000 people from Lewisham Borough and beyond. There's a large fairground, games, artistic and musical performances, arts and crafts, and a wide variety of food from all over the world. We arrived at 12 noon and finished at 6.15pm. We decorated the display with balloons and lots of free sweets, a foetal model set, and packs of pro-life literature. We gave away every side piece of literature we had, which totalled 3000!
Lewisham has one of the worst abortion rates (27.4 per 1000 women between 15-44) in the UK, and one of the highest number of abortions (1,896 unborn children killed last year) in the UK. Neighbouring boroughs Lambeth and Southwark have even worse rates and numbers. There are countless children missing from local infant and primary schools, thanks to BPAS, Marie Stopes, and the NHS which pays for 97% of abortions, and carries 35% of all abortions in its hospitals.
As ever, we had lots of interesting conversations. We did have a few people who went out of their way to tell us things like "I think you should be barred from being here" "it's a woman's right" "you're telling women what they can do with their bodies" and even a midwife who said "I can't believe you're showing pictures of unborn children". Interestingly, those with the hostile reactions were only willing to rush up, say something, and then run off so as to evade being challenged or listening to a reasoned explanation of why we were there. However, one lady began a conversation with one of our group saying "well just so you know, I'm pro-choice". The conversation ended with her signing one of our petitions, and rejecting the "pro-choice" position as false and deceptive. This actually happened twice on the day. Perhaps that's why those hostile to us prefer to run off; the killing of unborn children is indefensible, the "pro-choice" position illogical and downright nasty, the rationalisation of a guilty conscience.
However, most people were happy that we were there. Young couples, parents with children, pregnant mums, teenage boys and girls, and grandparents would stop to look at our poster display and foetal model set, ask questions, explain to their children how the baby grows in the womb. I lost count of the number of people who had no idea that abortion in the UK was legal up to birth, or that last year there were 203, 419 unborn children killed by abortionists. Some teachers asked for contact details so we could give a presentation at their schools, another lady wanted information about NaPro technology, which we were able to give.
Here are some photos from the day. I hope they give you an idea of the day and what we were doing.
The display: Posters along the front, SPUC banner, and foetal model set
We covered the stall with free sweets and packs of pro-life literature
The face painting booth
One of our volunteers speaks with mums about the work of SPUC and our display
Two of our SPUC interns hard at work in the sun, handing out pro-life packs and having discussions
It's been said lots of times on the blog, and it's worth saying again: We can know all the arguments, go to all the conferences, arrange dozens of talks for pro-lifers, read all the blogs, like all the pages on Facebook, follow all the accounts on Twitter etc. etc., but if we're not getting the message out to the public, if we're not bringing the pro-life message right to the people who need to hear it, then we're building up a pro-life cottage industry. This makes being pro-life a badge of identity and a hobby, rather than a movement with a mission.
The summer months offer us lots of opportunities to bring the pro-life message to people who've never heard it from pro-lifers. People are fed half-truths and lies by pro-abortion groups, politicians, journalists, and TV programmes. There's also people out there who are opposed to abortion but haven't thought about doing something about it. There's also people who are against abortion, but choose to keep silent because it's an unpopular position which entails being criticised.
- Find out if there's any festivals, gigs, activity days in your area, and get a display up and running.
- Do some leafleting. It's easy, simple, and means you can reach lots of people.
- Have a read over some of the previous posts on this blog. Get your thinking cap on, and do something.