See all the photos from the 2016 National Conference
27 September 2016
SPUC members at the 50th anniversary conference
On the weekend of 23-25 September, SPUC held a conference celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its founding (scroll down to see the photos).
170 delegates gathered to recall the key event leading to the formation of the society, a letter in the Church Times, published on 30th September 1966. Alan Smith and Elspeth Rhys-Williams (later Chowdharay-Best), who attended the conference, wrote the letter to call on opponents of abortion for support.
Tributes to the two founders of SPUC were paid, and delegates had the opportunity to hear about the Society's current work, as well as contributions reflecting on pro-life campaigns in the past 50 years. Although 50 years of legalised abortion is a cause for great grief, delegates were reminded that we have much to celebrate: Chief Executive John Smeaton recalled notable successes such as protecting embryos in 1994, defeating attempts to decriminalise abortion completely in 2008, blocking plans to make sex education compulsory in 2010, and participating in the defeat of the Marris Bill in 2015 (which sought to legalise assisted suicide).
Pro-life, no exceptions
One of the highlights of the conference was hearing from keynote speaker Rebecca Kiessling. Rebecca, who is a world renowned pro-life speaker, recounted the powerful story of finding out, at the age of 18, that she had been conceived in rape. Making an unarguable case for being pro-life without exception, she said: "When I first heard I was conceived in rape, I could hear the echoes of all the people who say 'I'm pro-life, except in the case of rape'. And all those people who say 'I'm pro-choice, especially for rape' - because those people are talking about me ... when people talk about a rape exception, they're saying I deserve the death penalty for the crimes of my biological father."
John Smeaton concluded the conference on the same theme, saying: "Completely stopping abortion in the UK: that is the purpose of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children."
As well as galvanising delegates to recommit themselves to striving to end abortion in the UK, the conference was also a wonderful chance to meet fellow pro-lifers, and have a great deal of fun doing so - as these photos show!