From Plymouth to Edinburgh - SPUC pro-life chains 2017
9 May 2017
Every year, SPUC branches hold pro-life chains across the country to mark the passing of the Abortion Act coming into force in April 1968.
Our pro-life chains are designed to be a silent yet powerful witness to the sanctity of human life. They help to raise awareness of the great evil of abortion as well as the harm it causes to mothers, fathers and society in general.
This year, branches up and down the country held chains. Here are some of the highlights!
The report from Crosby comes from Paul Kilbane. "The weather was overcast and dry, there were 18 of us along Liverpool Road, Crosby, at about 10 yard intervals, so I think the chain looked good. I am very grateful to Monica, Richard, Nick and Helen from South Liverpool SPUC who travelled across town to bolster our numbers. There was loads of Friday traffic, some occupants offering support others abuse. One young man from an open window shouted “I hope you die of cancer.” I feel there was a little more abuse this year than last, but others don’t agree. The feeling of solidarity and witness was strong once again, and the chain folded somewhat reluctantly at 6pm, the finish time."
There were dramatic scenes for SPUC Scotland in Edinburgh, as the police had to be called after their stall was overturned and a staff member assaulted. Emmett Dooley told the Scottish Catholic Observer: “Before we were making the video I spotted someone behind the stall and I knew they weren’t part of our crew. They seemed a bit nervous, so I chatted to them and gave them a lollipop. Then, for the video, I was running down the line of people holding a flag and the guy knocked over the stall, sent all the material flying and tried to trip me up.
"I used to work in social care, so I was able to restrain him and then his pal from the pro-abortion protest charged over swinging his fists. I let go of the first guy and they kind of crashed into each other.” He said the police then came and started taking statements and the two men involved disappeared. "Thank God no one was hurt," he said. "You know, we had a great atmosphere, loads of kids there, so it was very family friendly—it was all really out of the blue."
However, it looks like Edinburgh had some of the most impressive numbers!
Newcastle upon Tyne
Organiser Marileine reported: "Newcastle upon Tyne held the Silent Witness on the Tyne Bridge and for once it was quite warm. There were 25 people present. Many people in cars agreed with us by using their horns and thumbs up. One of the member counted 35 cars per minutes crossing the bridge with an average of 2 people per car which makes an average of 70 people who saw us per minutes and we were there for two hours - not bad going and not counting all the buses. A motorist who didn't agree with us called the police telling them that we were distracting drivers. The police came but they knew we were there and saw that we were well away from the curb and very quiet so they didn't say anything."
Christine Conlon says that about 24 people took part in the chain, but some were camera shy! Still a great photo!
The Plymouth chain got local media coverage in Devon Live and the Plymouth Herald. Organiser Christine Hudson told the press: "Killing a baby should never be a choice, but most women who have an abortion believe that they have no choice and so abortion leaves them hurting and distressed.
"Our Plymouth SPUC branch was launched 20 years ago this year. As we stand here today, we are also commemorating 50 years of legal abortion in the UK and 8.7 million babies killed - a blot on the consciences of us all. As we head towards the general election, we can be assured that abortion is only legal, because babies can't vote!"
25 SPUC members and pro life activists attended the SPUC annual pro-life chain in Preston on Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act and over 8.5 million unborn children lost to legalised abortion in this country. Local spokesman Tony Mullett said: "I am pleased at the number of supporters who have come this morning to convey their opposition to the tragedy of abortion and the harm it does to women and society as a whole. It is unbelievable that abortion is permitted in a so- called civilised society "
Monica Lowe of the South Liverpool branch tells us that their "pro-Life Chain had a total of 13 and was held on Saturday, 29 April from 10 - 12 noon - it was held outside Christ the King Church, Queens Drive, which is a busy dual carriageway with traffic lights close to where we stand. There is time for people to read our placards especially the bus passengers. We did have people who didn't agree with us but there was also quite a bit of support, one lady had the car window open and was shouting 'Praise the Lord'!"
Thank you to everyone who took part in chains this year!