With 40 Days for Life just around the corner, it was interesting to come across a post by an ex-priest called ‘I Can’t Believe I Once Prayed Outside An Abortion Clinic’.  Whilst the author claims to be morally undecided on the position of abortion, the claims made about life beginning at conception being based on religious belief and not scientific evidence and regret over praying outside a clinic and forcing his beliefs on people, suggest his undecided position is fallacious- just like the arguments he makes in this abhorrent piece.  Let me say this now:

I Can’t Believe I STILL Have to Pray Outside An Abortion Clinic…

…because Dan is right, women do deserve better than people standing outside a clinic and witnessing to the sanctity of life (I say witness because not everyone who comes to the clinic is from a faith background and therefore not everyone prays…) But this particular Huff Post stirred up some serious (authentic) feminist rage in me as I read through the claims.   You see the sad thing is that ‘pro-choice’ rhetoric tells women they have only ONE choice when faced with a crisis or unplanned pregnancy: abortion.  And the odds are stacked against them if they entertain any other thoughts about keeping a pregnancy.  Feminists shout for choice, but how can you have real a choice if the only option is abortion?  I believe women deserve better than abortion.  Killing your child is no choice.  And abortion is not the simple medical procedure ‘pro-choicers’ say it is.  I will continue to witness outside an abortion clinic until women are in possession of all the facts when making a decision on abortion.  They say the truth hurts, but the false promises and reality of an abortion hurt even more.

I Can’t Believe I STILL Have to Pray Outside An Abortion Clinic…

…because this false feminism of our time tells women, they are not good enough, brave enough, smart enough, strong enough to choose life in the face of an unplanned pregnancy.  Oh and not to mention if they choose life: their relationship will be ruined, their career is over and all future prospects disappear simply because you can’t be successful AND be a mother…  What utter rubbish.  To quote Ryan Bomberger at March for Life UK ’16 “Woman are the strongest and most resilient people on this planet”.  And I might add, they are awesome and can do anything they put their mind to.  That’s another reason I witness outside an abortion clinic- because with the whole world telling women “You Can’t Do This” I want to be the one to say “I believe in you- you CAN do this”.   You can’t be successful if you have a baby?? It is high time we dropped the victimhood narrative from feminist discourse, smashed this stereotype up and replaced this fauxminism with a true feminism which speaks of women as the strong, dignified, responsible and awesome people they are.

I Can’t Believe I STILL Have to Pray Outside An Abortion Clinic…

…because my belief that life starts at conception is based on sound scientific evidence and not religious conviction. My religion might be one of the key motivators for witnessing at the abortion clinic, but if I were to become an atheist tomorrow then I would still feel an obligation to be there.  Why? Because science itself tells us that a new life, something distinctly unique and irreplaceable begins at the very moment of conception.  At that moment every tiny detail about that person is determined, from eye colour to hair colour and even to which hereditary diseases they might inherit.  It is all there.   Within just 16 days a heart starts to be beat- that’s probably just before a woman realises she has missed a period. Can one human being have two hearts??? No, that would be scientifically stupid.  There are all sorts of fascinating facts about unborn life, which make it undeniably human- all with a scientifically sound basis.  Funny that ‘pro-choice’ rhetoric as tolerant, scientific, objective and progressive as it claims to be, seems to gloss over these clear, confirmed, objective and scientific facts.  And don’t even get me started about the whole “clump of cells” business.  I mean if it was just a clump of cells, then why can’t a woman see the scan when an abortionist dates her pregnancy? Religious belief is not plugging the gap in a scientific narrative about when life starts- it doesn’t need to because science is doing that all by itself.

I Can’t Believe I STILL Have to Pray Outside An Abortion Clinic…

…because abortion providers continue to leave women high and dry after she has had her abortion.  How many tears have prolife witnesses outside clinics wiped away?  How many women have they redirected to counselling services?  You see we see the ugly and traumatic face of the ‘pro-choice’ movement that ‘pro-choicers’ don’t want to talk about… the hurt, sorrow, grief and trauma that many women suffer after an abortionFauxminism suffocates and silences this grief by trying to shake the stigma off abortion,  pitching is as just another routine medical procedure.  It encourages women to #ShoutYourAbortion or to basically ‘Netflix, chill and celebrate your choice’ as per that hideous Teen Vogue article last weekend.  Fauxminists simply add to the hurt of the many women who regret their abortion but are unable to deal with this properly as they feel they need to conform to the aggressive fauxminist agenda which tells them they must celebrate their choice.  I mean I totally get that fauxministas don’t want to shout about the scientifically proven psychological damage that women suffer as a result of abortion, nor do they want to admit that this so called means of liberation is just another tool of oppression.  At the last 40 Days for Life campaign in Birmingham, one young woman came back to the abortion clinic seeking counselling (remember that comprehensive reproductive healthcare package abortion clinics provide), the clinic could not offer her any counselling.  That said they didn’t let her leave completely empty handed, they did offer her the scan picture of the baby which they aborted for her and for who she was now grieving.  Like seriously???? I don’t even know where to begin with this one but as you might have guessed it was us judgmental bigoted pro-lifers who were there to pick the pieces up for this distressed young woman.  So yeah it does anger me that I have to stand outside an abortion clinic, but until women get the post-abortive care that they need and society realises that abortion does cause real and lasting hurt, then I have to be there.

I Can’t Believe I STILL Have to Witness Outside An Abortion Clinic…

You might have noticed I have used the word witness instead of prayer because as I said it’s not just religious folk who witness outside abortion clinics or who are involved in the pro-life movement.  Long before the 1967 UK Abortion Act and Roe v Wade in the States, the prolife movement was and still is much broader and diverse than the media likes to portray.  The media likes to label the prolife movement as distinctly Catholic or Christian, vilifying us in the process and writing us off as irrelevant on the grounds that religion has no place in a secular society.  This is not just a Catholic issue, nor is it a religious issue, but it is THE human rights issue of our time and more and more people are joining this cause.   The recent March for Life in the US showed the vibrant face of a truly intersectional prolife movement: feminists for life, secularists for life, pro non-violent choicers for life, bikers for life, gays for life, Muslims for life… The protection of unborn life should be the concern of everyone, for this is the foundation on which all other rights hang.  We are not just a bunch of religious nutjobs forcing beliefs on people, we are the face of a growing human rights movement….they call us extreme because we believe these rights start at conception but we prefer ‘radical.’ With a growing diversity in the prolife movement here in the UK too, we will keep on standing outside abortion clinics or marching in our cities until we see the biggest violation of human rights in our time come to an end.

Women deserve better than the rubbish in this article.  Just like Dan I cannot believe I have prayed outside an abortion clinic.  And this Spring with 40 Days for Life kicking off, I cannot believe I will have to pray outside a clinic again.  It also outrages me that I will have to ‘March for Life’ in Birmingham this May.  Like Dan, I too am ashamed that I have to do this.  This Lent I would rather be somewhere else.  But until society values and protects life from conception to natural death and until it supports, encourages and empowers women instead of perpetuating this victimhood narrative and their continued oppression through abortion- then I will have to keep praying and witnessing outside an abortion clinic….even if I STILL can’t believe I have to.

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  • Tom Conlon

    Yes, this is true. It is not just Christians that are against abortion. There is PRO-LIFE HUMANISTS, PRO-LIFE ATHEISTS and PRO-LIFE SECULARLISTS…..One strange thing is that in the UK MARIE STOPES clinics provide the health care of 70,000 abortion per year. Yet Marie Stopes was very anti abortion. She referred to abortion as murder. In her lifetime she refused anyone in her clinics to have any involvement in abortion. In fact nurses had to sign a declaration before working in any of her clinics. If Marie Stopes were alive today abortion would not be allowed in Marie Stopes clinics, so there would be no need for people to be praying and witnessing outside them.

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