Aberdeen councillor smears peaceful vigil with deceptive allegations
28 February 2019
Participants in a Scottish 40 Days for Life vigil.
She quoted a completely misleading media article
An Aberdeen councillor has made misleading remarks regarding peaceful pro-life vigils as part of the latest onslaught to tarnish the pro-life image. Councillor Catriona Mackenzie, who represents Torry and Ferryhill, branded 40 Days for Life as "immoral" and "disgraceful" after hearing of the group's plans to stand peacefully in prayer between March 6th and April 14th.
Joining a media attack
Ms Mackenzie made severely unsubstantiated and damaging claims against pro-life people as she stated; "These people attacked medics in Manchester." This was in reference to a completely misleading Daily Telegraph headline, which in an escalation of recent media attacks on pro-life vigils falsely insinuated that vigil attendees had resorted to violence. In fact, abortion clinic staff in Manchester had requested meetings with police ahead of a 40 Days for Life Campaign.
SPUC Director of Communications and Campaigns, Michael Robinson said: "For a Scottish political figure to make not only false but severely damaging allegations against peaceful people of her own community highlights the length public representatives will resort to, in order to smear the pro-life movement. Ms Mackenzie’s reliance on a misleading media article vilifying peaceful people, demonstrates the willingness to blacken the reputation of pro-life vigils in the public mind."
He continued, "It is equally astounding that a councillor so newly elected would focus so strongly on a non- issue. Perhaps Councillor Mackenzie should focus on her day job and look at local health and education provisions of her council area."
The group targeted by Ms Mackenzie’s false allegations, 40 Days for Life, is a peaceful prayer witness which seeks to highlight that there are alternative choices available for women, other than abortion. However, despite the group’s peaceful presence, they have been the victims of continuous smears - with both the media and public representatives determined to tarnish and censor the pro-life voice.
Speaking to the Evening Express, a 40 Days for Life spokesperson said: "40 Days for Life is a peaceful prayer vigil, praying for all concerned with the abortion industry. We most definitely are not in any way a form of picket, we don’t engage with the public and stand in a grassed area off the footpath in peaceful prayer. Every person that attends this vigil has signed a statement of peace before they are allowed to join us, saying they will behave in a peaceful and respectful manner while at the vigil."
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