Sat 14th May saw thousands of pro-lifers taking to the streets of Birmingham in an effort to create awareness of the hurt and damage that abortion causes.
This year's March for Life UK was a huge success according to attendees as pro-life groups from across the UK united in solidarity.
Pro-life stalls were alive with interest from young people. The 'Mercy Bus' had queues from those wanting to speak to a priest, keen to start a journey of forgiveness and peace. Food outlets, pro-life merchandise and face painters were buzzing with customers and as live music played some of those gathered spontaneously took to dancing in the sunshine.
Bishop David McGough, the auxiallary bishop of Birmingham, stepped up to the outdoor stage and gave an opening welcome. After this Bishop Emmanuel Badejo from Nigeria took up a guitar and won the crowd with his warmth and gentle humour. He reminded the West that in Africa when a woman finds she's pregnant their belief is that their is 'always room for one more'.
Keynote speaker Ryan Bomberger who himself was conceived in rape and adopted spoke eloquently using personal testimony. His dynamic speech inspired all who were there and he engaged with even the small group of pro-abortion supporters who were present.
The star of the day was Sophie who had many of the crowd in tears. She recounted how last year she had an abortion booked having been put under great pressure to feel that was her only option. As she had walked through the city she encountered last year's March for Life and was struck by their joy which contrasted with the aggression of the pro-abortion activists. This helped her decide which side she wanted to be on. At this point in her story Sophie told the crowd 'when I got home I cancelled my abortion. How many of you were here last year? I want to say thank you. You helped save the life of my son Riley' and she held up her little baby boy.
After this beautiful testimony the march took place, people spilled out of the square onto the street, singing and cheering their way past the busy Saturday shoppers and tourists.
The day ended back at Victoria Square with Canadian apologist Stephanie Gray speaking of the pain abortion causes, reminding people how pro-life work can't be just a yearly activity but a daily one. At this point Bishop Patrick McKinney from Nottingham led everyone in prayer and as the huge crowd dropped to their knees a silence fell.
One of the exhibits in the festival was a beautiful wooden cross, almost lifesize, where people were invited to leave their petitions on heart shaped pieces of paper. One of the prayers left attached to the cross reminded those who read it of the healing that was still needed - it simply read 'forgive me'.
Keep actively reaching out to others whether they are post-abortive or in a crisis pregnancy. Keep educating the young, speaking to our politicians and leaders. Keep seeking out those loving one to one conversations that help change hearts and minds. Keep the petitions going and the prayers flowing. We can and will change this society let's start by changing ourselves into more passionate and compassionate pro-lifers. Let's start today, let's go!!