On 27th October 2023, the 56th anniversary of the Abortion Act receiving royal assent, March for Life UK held a solemn witness between 12:00-14:00 in Parliament Square. Volunteers held signs and banners bearing witness to the death toll and calling for an end to abortion in Britain.
With 10,256,050 children’s lives lost since the Abortion Act came into law, speakers ranging from clergy to medical professionals to campaigners spoke about the ongoing struggle for life and the challenges faced by the pro-life movement across the United Kingdom. Among the speakers were Monsignor Keith Newton, head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and Dr Dermot Kearney, former President of the Catholic Medical Association.
Freedom of thought and speech were prominent themes this year. Adam Smith-Connor, the army veteran and father currently facing charges for praying silently outside an abortion provider in Bournemouth, described recent persecution of pro-life missionaries as ‘simply unacceptable’, while Jeremiah Igunnoble, Legal Counsel for ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) noted the importance of raising awareness of abortion in the present climate, saying, ‘We’re not discussing the issue itself, we’re debating whether we’re allowed to debate the issue.’
But the moral and legal issue of abortion itself was by no means neglected. Christian Hacking of CBRUK (Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK) invoked the ’10 million mothers overcome by fear, lead astray,’ and warned that the blood shed over the course of 56 years of legal abortion in the United Kingdom ‘has not gone unnoticed by God.’
The final speaker, Natanya, shared her testimony as a woman who had 3 abortions before finding healing at a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. Natanya spoke about the loss of 3 of her children, Levi, Mercy and Nancy Grace, as well as her experience of abortion providers and the pressure she faced at the hands of an ex-partner and BPAS employees. Describing her emotionally draining ordeal, Natnaya said:
‘I felt rushed. I felt terrified. The counsellor told me I needed to hurry up and decide as there was a waiting room full of women and the doctor would have to go home soon. I reluctantly agreed to have the pill to prepare me for surgery.’
Following Natanya’s testimony, the witness ended with a rendition of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, a tribute to the lives lost since that fateful day 56 years ago and Natanya’s aborted daughter, Nancy Grace. March for Life’s Isabel Vaughan-Spruce summarised the day as follows:
‘We remember today the 10,256,050 children who have been aborted in Great Britain since the passing of the Abortion Act 56 years ago. This figure represents so much grief and suffering and we are grateful to all who stood with us to remind our nation that everyone deserves the freedom to live.’
Speakers of the day:
Ben John – Christian Concern, Christian Hacking – CBR UK, Dr Dermot Kearney – CMA, Honor Roberts – 40 Days for Life, Lynda Rose – Voice for Justice UK, Alithea Williams – SPUC, Simon Calvert – Christian Institute, Jeremiah Igunnubole – ADF UK, Adam Smith-Connor, Mgr Keith Newton – Head of Ordinariate of Walsingham, Michael Ward – Good Counsel Network, Caroline Farrow – Citizen Go, Joe Etheridge – Abortion Resistance, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce – March for Life UK