Louise – Voice for the Voiceless March for Life 2016
Fun – is the thing that strikes you about the March for Life. Fun and the joy that everyone radiates – as our chant says, ‘if you’re pro-life and you know it clap your hands...’ Everyone had great fun singing and dancing and clapping through the streets of Birmingham. More importantly, they did so because they have a deep and real love for life – all life, from conception to natural death.
It was an early start for the Scottish contingent heading to the March for Life last Saturday 14th May. An 18+ hour day for us, but well worth the trip.
Another person who noticed the joy surrounding March for Life was a young woman, who in 2015 felt under great pressure to have an abortion and felt there was no other option. While walking through Birmingham last year, came across the March for Life and was struck by how joyous people were. She saw a banner displayed saying “It’s not a choice, it’s a baby” and it made her think about the abortion she was about to have. Sophie sought help from someone on the march and then cancelled her abortion! She stood on the stage this year, holding her wee boy, Riley and thanking the crowd for their witness which led her to choose life for her baby. She asked the crowd, “Who was here at last year’s March for Life? Please show me”, to which there was a massive cheer from the crowd before Sophie replied, “Riley is here because of all of you, thank you so much!”
This is one of the many reasons why we march. It was so moving to hear her speak and see how thankful she was for the life of her baby. I for one welled up hearing that and from speaking to others within the Scottish group, Sophie and Riley were definitely the highlight for most of them.
The March itself had a real buzz to it. Thousands walking through the streets, singing and dancing and loving life. Of course there was some opposition but undecided onlookers could see who the aggressive side were straight away. It tore me apart to hear them boo Sophie – How dare they treat her like that? They talk so much about choice and a woman’s right to choose. Well this woman made her choice and she chose life!
This just indicates that the radical ones aren’t pro-choice at all, they’re fundamentally pro-abortion. They call us ‘anti-abortion’ campaigners but being pro-life is so much more than that. It’s about love. We are against the act of abortion, but we love the person in each situation. We love them enough to be the ones who they can come to when in crisis pregnancy. We love them enough to be the ones that they can come to for post abortion healing. We recognise the humanity of the child in the womb and we know instinctively that it’s wrong to take that life and we are willing to fight to protect that little life.
Many of our young folk got the opportunity to speak to Stephanie Gray, one of the Canadian March for Life speakers. She was very excited to meet us as her dad is from Glasgow! We had a good chat with her and rated her Scottish accent before climbing back aboard our bus back to Scotland!
Back on the bus it was brilliant to hear how everyone had an amazing day. I’ll leave you with some of the quotes that I’ve gathered from some of our participants:
“This year was my first time at the the March for life and it certainly won’t be my last. It was so encouraging to see so many people of all ages and from all over come together to stand up for society’s most vulnerable in such a peaceful and beautiful way. After all it is important that we remain compassionate and understanding when we take to the streets to promote our cause. Many people have been damaged by abortion and so it is important to treat the those who identify as pro-choice with the love and respect that we believe everyone is due, by virtue of being human. One thing that really stuck with me was when one speaker at the March made reference to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. on the importance of loving your opponents: “Whom we would change, we must first love.” – Lily Kearns (student)
“Being pro life in today’s society can be very isolating so it was particularly wonderful for me to march with fellow pro lifers and express the message of love, compassion and most of all the preciousness of life. I enjoyed the day immensely and felt encouraged and inspired to carry the pro life message into my everyday life.” – Katie Tennent (young teacher)
“Taking part in the March for Life was an exciting, moving and powerful experience. Sharing the joy and goodness of life with the rest of society is so important in a culture which often overlooks the most vulnerable in our world. Giving a voice to the mothers and children who do not have one is a worthy cause and standing up against the injustice of abortion is both a needed and necessary fight. Saturday was such a rewarding day that brought together people from across Britain and further afield; united in a common cause, fighting for life from conception, no exception!” – Clare Deighan (student)
“The Prolife movement is on the march! Saturday in Birmingham reminded us that this is how it should be: people from all races and cultures, all ages and backgrounds, all religions and none – all of us celebrating the beauty and dignity of human life, looking out for the littlest among us, and reaching out to our brothers and sisters who are broken by abortion.
The march can only get bigger and better every year.” – Sr Andrea Fraile (Sisters of the Gospel of Life)
“Such a wonderful and beautifully joy filled day. Sunny in more ways than one with so many of all ages and backgrounds happy to bear witness on a busy Birmingham City centre to the preciousness of life. Despite very minimal opposition it was clearly evident that pro-life supporters care as much for the parents harmed by abortion as they do for the thousands of children who’s lives have been lost to it. Particularly moving and such a powerful spectacle was the post-walks minutes silence with nearly all kneeling in memory of those lost innocent lives. I’m delighted to have attended this walk for life and am thoroughly confident that the movement will grow from strength to strength.” – Mary Doogan (One of the Glasgow midwives)
“One thing that struck me was that the average age of the participants was much lower than I expected. I found that very encouraging. I would have no hesitation in taking part again.” – Eileen McBride
“The March for Life was a joyful public witness of love for the Truth – the Truth that every life begins at conception without exception. Every life is a precious gift and we march to be the voice for our 200,000 voiceless fellow human beings who are denied their Right to Life in the UK every year. There was a real sense of connection with the crowds of people looking on.” – Jacqueline Stewart
“I had a fun, happy time at the March for Life – we walked behind a big group of teenagers who had a loudspeaker and microphone and sang great fun songs – I really liked “If you’re Pro-LIfe and you know it clap your hands.” – Sarah Stewart (9)
“We had a fantastic day out and it was great to see so many Bishops, Priests and Nuns supporting the event. It boosts my faith when I see the Church backing unborn children and their mothers. The best bit was when a young Mum told her story to the crowd. She’d been booked in for an abortion but had been passing by last year’s March for Life and was inspired by the happy, positive, procession. She cancelled the abortion and was with us, one year later, with her beautiful baby. She got a massive round of applause.” – Paul Atkin
“I’m pro-life because I can count. Which is funny as I hated maths at school. What I mean is that abortion is the largest loss of human life in Scotland, and the UK, today. I don’t think people realise that Scotland loses 30 children every day to abortion. So the March for Life was a joyful festival of life, we were there saying: ‘life is precious and we’re losing too much of it, we need to think again’.” – Catriona Atkin
“This was my first time at the March for Life UK, and it proved to be both uplifting and necessary. It was uplifting in many ways, but especially from the joy that was very apparent from every pro-life participant- singing and dancing for life. It was also necessary, because we brought the message of life to Birmingham. Necessary for all those hurt by abortion; showing them that, as a movement, we are here to protect the most innocent in society with a loving and compassionate approach. I thought the best part was when the woman who saw the March last year, and cancelled her abortion appointment, spoke on stage holding her baby who was saved as a direct result of the 2015 March. This work is so important and we must continue to fight the good fight.” – Sarah Haire (student)
“We’ve attended March for Life for the last three years and this one was definitely the best. The atmosphere was fantastic and I defy anyone to try and put a negative spin on it. There was nothing there but a joy for life and the only anger or bad humour came from the half dozen or so anti-lifers. As to the length of the journey, that just adds to the pilgrimage feel, as did Sr. Andrea leading us in the Rosary.” – Caroline O’Neill
“The March for Life 2016 was my third and fair to say my favourite so far! It was a great day to be part of the pro-life generation and witness to life in Birmingham.” – Hannah O’Neill
“I thoroughly enjoyed the March for Life it was well worth getting up at 4:20am for, sometimes you feel isolated in your pro-life view and what others may think so it is not something I would ever normally discuss with people, but it feels so reassuring and exciting when you are able to see first hand that there are so many others who feel the same way and I would encourage anyone who may be reluctant to take part to go next year. My highlight was the mother clutching her child who spoke briefly on the stage to tell us that she had been a passer-by when the March for Life had occurred last year and the banner ‘Its Not a Choice, it’s a Baby’ made her cancel her abortion later that day and how thankful she was to all the people who had attended, I am not normally an emotional person but hearing her story was extremely moving and it is hard to describe how extremely motivating it was to know that what I was about to do could save another life.” – Darren Hope
“My motivation for being pro-life is the injustice in society when there is outcry over killing of children in society and the media yet there are children being killed every day by abortion which is unseen and unheard about”. – Alec Hope
“The success of this year’s March for Life – the great numbers, the faces from all over the United Kingdom, the beautiful sunshine and the electric atmosphere – represented the great strength and relentless energy of the pro-life movement in our country. It promises good things to come!” – Anon