SPUC supporters lined Lothian Road in Edinburgh on Saturday 25th April to mark the Abortion Law coming into force in the UK. Many millions of babies have lost their life since the ‘67 Act came in to force and campaigners bore witness to those deaths and the need to repeal the law. John Deighan, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of SPUC Scotland addressed a large group of supporters who attended a service prior to the silent vigil on the streets of Edinburgh. His address is below.
Address to Prolife Chain Supporters
By John Deighan SPUC Scotland Chief Executive Officer
Dear Friends thank you for joining the event today as we mark the Abortion Act 1967 coming into force in the UK.
In recent times there is a rightful concern within the prolife movement that our society has grown numb to the horror of abortion despite the enormous death toll that climbs relentlessly year after year. Our effort to show solidarity for the unborn will in total last about three hours with our presence here and then our silent vigil at Lothian Road. Over three hours in Scotland Abortion typically claims the lives of 7 or 8 babies. For the UK the figure is more like 70 lives over that same period. These deaths are not happening for any genuine medical reason.
But these deaths go largely unmarked in our society because our laws fail to uphold the basic right to life of all people and a conspiracy of silence pushes the issue to the periphery of public consciousness.
The failure to acknowledge the tragedy of abortion cannot suppress the damage which it inflicts in almost every avenue of life. As we approach 50 years of this malign law, we have seen a degradation of life in so many ways: a cheapening of life, a hardening of hearts to children and to the vulnerable, the suffering and pain borne by women, doctors and families, a war on the disabled in the womb where a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, or Spina Bifida and other conditions is very often a death sentence; of course abortion is also a significant contributor to creating an aging society and the economic disaster that it threatens.
We are living with the multi-layered and diverse effects of a culture of death which is increasingly in need to hear the values of a culture of life. Part of that work involves wakening the consciences of our fellow citizens. They are too often victims of a suffocating fog of propaganda and deceit which prevents them from discerning right from wrong. What else can explain the wicked calls for infanticide that we can read of in medical journals, or the abortion of children with minor conditions like hair lip or club foot? What else can explain the refusal to denounce abortions of babies just because they are girls? What else can explain the claim to kill as a human right despite the plain words of the European convention on Human Rights that “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law”? Advocates of abortion follow the tyrannies of history which also chose to deny the humanity of those they wish to persecute. Yet today science confirms the truth that we uphold, that the unborn share the same human nature as each of us.
So we can be confident that we gather as witnesses for the truth and that our presence is a light for darkened consciences. I can understand that for many it seems like the wait will never be over. Of course it has been too long and we can never replace the skills and talents of those who have lost their lives or know the joy and wisdom they could have brought to our society. But we can address the pain that continues because of their loss as the sister organisation of SPUC, ARCH (Abortion Recovery Care Helpline) does, we can help others avoid the tragedy of abortion such as we see in the services of the Cardinal Winning prolife initiative.
SPUC will continue its educational work with renewed zeal as we spread the fight for justice across Scotland and cooperate with colleagues across the UK and indeed across the world to influence cultural and legal attitudes to the right to life.
The propaganda of the abortion industry has succeeded for a considerable time but as we near the half century of this enormous lie its time is coming to an end. Today I pledge the work of SPUC in bringing the truth in to the light. We will build on our work to inform those who have not yet been drawn in to the web of lies and destruction which support abortion and to help those who need healing from their encounter with it for whatever reason. This will be an endeavour which will rely on the unity and commitment of the various strands of the prolife movement and I commit myself in the role that I have only just begun to work with the outstanding witnesses for life found associated with SPUC and the other prolife organisations which are in fact the most consistent of the human rights movements. It is the human right movement which is willing to stand against the preconceptions and prejudices of our age. Thank you for your part in this which you show so eloquently today by your presence. Your efforts will not be in vain. The people of our society are expressing disquiet with the values of our laws and politicians. They may not know the underlying role that the culture of death has played in destabilising and degrading our society. But they know that something has to change. A society which does not protect the weakest in its midst and which destroys its own young cannot survive. A new vision is sought by so many and one which rejects abortion is essential for the common good and for a viable future. It is that vision that I intend to make popular once again in society I am eager to work with you in the months and years ahead in that task.