I was amused to note that the staff of BPAS are clearly rattled by the scary tactics of those nutters at Forty Days for Life who have the audacity to stand on the pavement, on the other side of the road of BPAS’ London clinic and actually PRAY for all those inside the clinic. They are so distressed by this public manifestation of concern, that a few of their supporters feel motivated enough to have organised
a nifty counter-PR campaign an impromptu gesture of support and are ensuring that those poor beleaguered staff at BPAS who are providing charitable services, purely out of the goodness of their hearts, are not suffering from lack of nourishment as they go about their daily hard graft of organising and performing abortions.
It must be terrible for them poor things, imagine, having to be faced with this intimidating sight every time you peer out of the window, or pop out for a quick Starbucks to boost those energy levels.
Terrifying aren’t they? A father and son praying together in solidarity for the unborn. Being of the religious nutjob persuasion, they weren’t just praying for the unborn babies, but also for the mothers going through the abortion procedure, their partners and families and also for all of the staff at BPAS, including those performing the abortions.
The disturbing aspect about the counter-campaign is the attempt to claim that Forty Days for Life is intimidating or threatening, hence the need for “support” for those who work at BPAS. Forty Days is what it says on the tin – a prayer vigil, with the secondary aim of raising awareness around abortion issues. As the photo shows, absolute no graphic imagery is employed in the campaign and neither could the vigil be termed a protest, note the lack of megaphones and soapboxes.
BPAS and the group Abortion Rights are keen to present this in a totally different light; asking for support in the form of comfort food, implies that they are somehow under threat or besieged and intimidated. Somehow the thought of a handful of people standing across the road and praying, is just so terrifying, it sends them reaching for the biscuit tin. Apart from the fact that it reinforces a rather unhealthy relationship with food, there is something obscene about supporters bringing cakes and biscuits for the abortion workers. What about the pregnant mother? Doesn’t she deserve a nice comforting fondant fancy or custard cream?
By the look of these tweets, it seems that spirits are high at BPAS, they’re rather enjoying emulating the spirit of the blitz. It’s good to know that BPAS have taken note of 40daysforlife’s comments about all those extra calories – supporters are kindly ensuring that not only are the treats comforting, but they’re also healthy.
Glad they’re having fun on the backs of the heartbreak of mothers and the deaths of unborn children. How very edifying. As BPAS are beginning to worry about their waistlines, they’ve kindly set up a charity giving website so that well-wishers can give them money to support their cause instead.
“I know, I know, economic climate, yadda yadda yadda but if you are Pro Choice, why not use some of your shiny pounds so that we can show our appreciation to these organizations.”
Despite the demonstrably peaceful nature of the prayer vigil, the pro-abort lobby are still keen to drill home a potential threat, by taking pains to point out the fact that the UK movement was born out of the worldwide 40 days for Life campaign. As the Guardian says:
“Adopting tactics more commonly used by American anti-abortion protesters, the group stressed it would be a “peaceful vigil”. But the demonstration merely makes life harder for women facing difficult decisions, according to Clare Murphy of BPAS. “We are supportive of freedom of speech, but it is very problematic when a group of people go out of their way to make life harder for women at an already difficult time,” she said.
What does the fact that American pro-life campaigners also engage in prayer-vigils outside abortion clinics have to do with it? Or is it a tenuous attempt to introduce an element of violence and threat into the narrative, even though evidence shows that violence against pro-lifers in America, vastly outnumbers the equally unacceptable acts of violence committed in defence of the unborn.
As for whether or not a handful of people standing in silent witness and prayer makes life harder for women going to have an abortion, I would like Clare Murphy to explain precisely why this is? How can the sight of people who are so concerned about you and your unborn child that they have given up their time and risk public approbation, violence and ridicule make a decision (presuming that’s already been taken) more difficult? How can someone who wants to reach out to you in a spirit of love and concern, make life difficult? If the decision has been made to abort, then isn’t it comforting to know that people are praying for you, even if they are desperately saddened by what is happening? If you are undecided, then what is so difficult about a group of people who want to offer love, support (both financial and practical) and reassurance? Or is it the reminder that some people find the killing of an unborn child unspeakably tragic? Or the reminder that it is indeed a child that you are carrying?
Though I understand the scepticism of some pro-lifers as to the efficacy of this vigil, Christians never underestimate the power of prayer. Praying outside an abortion clinic is an essential act of Christian compassion and witness. If it changes the hearts and minds of just one person, then it is an act well done. It is the quiet strength and courage of those on the vigil, that is causing those at BPAS enough disquiet to imply that silent prayer is somehow threatening. In some ways they are right, it is threatening, however not in the physical way that they imply. The vigils are obviously very effective if they are managing to effect a crafty counter-campaign. It is good to note that Clare Murphy does however recognise and support the principle of free speech, even if she can’t evidence her claims as to how these protests are making life difficult, in any physical way, other than to stir the conscience.
Make no mistake Robert Colquhoun, John and Paul Smeaton, Juventum, and anyone else who gives up their free time to selflessly pray for others are spiritual giants. That’s why they frighten the staff at these abortion clinics, quite so very much.