Efforts to vilify pro-life people continues

18 April 2019

40 days

Labour MP Jess Phillips has expressed criticism of peaceful pro-life group, 40 Days for Life as part of the growing vilification of pro-life groups and people across the United Kingdom.

The MP, who compared her own abortion to a routine dentist appointment, yesterday expressed her disapproval for the peaceful pro-life presence in Britain, accusing those involved of harassment and intimidation.

Abortion supporters have been flooding social media with claims of supposed aggression by pro-life people, but they fail to substantiate their claims and yet the press is happy to give them space. For example, speaking to The Sun, Ms Phillips said: “Anti-abortion protesters have been targeting women, many of whom are extremely vulnerable, across the UK. In Birmingham and Leicester activists are reported to have handed out leaflets with graphic pictures of foetuses on them and which claimed women who have abortions are more likely to die by suicide. Other women are said to be so intimidated by protesters taking photos by clinics they’ve cancelled appointments altogether. In Manchester women making these difficult decisions were called ‘murderers’, according to The Guardian. For other women the harassment it is worse than ugly - it is cruel.”

The escalating vilification of pro-life people

The assertions made by Ms Phillips are not uncommon. They are part of the escalating media and legal attacks on peaceful pro-life vigils. The growing efforts to vilify the pro-life presence in Britain through misinformation, false accusations and slurs could be fuelling the violent attacks on pro-life people around the country. Reports of aggressive behaviour, physical and verbal attacks began to circulate just one week into the beginning of this year’s 40 Days for Life campaign.

In March three elderly members of a 40 Days for Life group were targeted by a verbally abusive and violent man outside the Fallowfield abortion clinic. The man screamed obscenities at the pensioners, whilst throwing chairs and damaging their belongings.

In the same month, a lumpy yellow liquid was hurled over peaceful pro-life volunteers in Nottingham. Volunteer John Edwards who was subjected to the assault told SPUC: “A young man approached the three volunteers present, including me. He swore abusively and threw a jug of yellow liquid at us. It hit one member of the vigil in the face, hair and body. None of the vigil members responded in any way. We were assaulted physically and verbally and this left both the women visibly distressed.”

The aggression against innocent and often elderly pro-life people, also appears to be festering within social media. One pro-abortion Facebook user publicly expressed her desire to harm Edinburgh- based pro-life volunteers with a “Liberal sprinkling of water balloons from a moving vehicle while they are standing there.”

Reports of aggressive behaviour towards pro-life vigil volunteers were also recorded in London and Cardiff. The rise in physical and verbal attacks came soon after media outlets made unsubstantiated and negative claims against pro-life people. The false claims were repeated soon after by Aberdeen Councillor Catriona Mackenzie who publicly branded innocent pro-life people in her own constituency as ‘immoral’ and ‘disgraceful.’


The reality

Despite the onslaught of false accusations against them, no charges of intimidation or harassment have been made against pro-life vigil volunteers in the United Kingdom. The reality, is that 40 Days for Life is a peaceful, community- based campaign that aims to protect mothers and babies through prayer.

SPUC Parliamentary Director, Michael Robinson said: “Over the past year, we have seen the vilification of pro-life supporters in the media, by politicians and abortion advocates. When multi-million pound organisations, funded by the state, are focussed on terminating vulnerable human beings, simply because they are inconvenient or unwanted, we should not be surprised when many of its followers become desensitised and move on to commit other types of aggression and violence”.

Mr Robinson added: “By contrast the pro-life movement is built and sustained by love and compassion. At SPUC we are committed to loving the unborn child, by championing and campaigning for their protection in society. Equally, SPUC is dedicated to showing and living out our compassion to mothers and families who find themselves in difficult or crisis pregnancy situations”.