Right To Life UK are a campaigning and charitable organisation focused on life issues – abortion, assisted suicide and embryo research.
We protect and defend the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death through our work across education, politics, the media and through a large network of people in constituencies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We are committed to an evidence-based approach to life issues, uniting people from different political ideologies and philosophical beliefs (including those who are non-religious, religious, or agnostic).
Right To Life UK was founded by the late Phyllis Bowman. Phyllis was one of the first major campaigners on the abortion issue globally, launching her work to protect the unborn child and increase support for women facing unplanned pregnancies, prior to the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967.
She then proceeded to lead a very large network of campaigners right across the UK to undertake educational, political, media and grassroots campaigning. Right To Life UK was founded by Phyllis to ensure that her pioneering work on life issues could be continued on a larger scale. Right To Life UK continues her work today, uniting campaigners from around the country to focus on protecting and defending human life.
We have included below highlights from some of our recent work to demonstrate how we are making a positive difference.
Strong defeat of the Marris assisted suicide bill
Working alongside a large group of MPs, Peers and other organisations, we provided strategy, media and digital support for one of the largest co-ordinated pro-life campaigns waged in the UK.
This ended in a decisive and, arguably, the largest win for the right-to-life movement in UK history and will most likely mean that we will not see any assisted suicide legislation for at least this term, if not longer.
Shaping the media narrative on life issues
We have attempted, wherever possible, to have an important impact on the media narrative on life issues. While this can often be difficult, with much of the media hostile to the right-to-life point of view, there are a number of key areas where we have the upper-hand in terms of public support. We have been able to target these vital areas to shape the debate towards a broader recognition of the right to life of the unborn child.
Recently, this has seen us feature in over 120 print and broadcast media pieces. In particular, we were able to gain momentum around three key areas. The first was the Marris Assisted Suicide Bill; this presented an opportunity to bring to light the strong evidence against the introduction of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United Kingdom.
Secondly, we combated the move by Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, to sign up her College to a campaign supporting the introduction of abortion on demand, for any reason, up-to-birth. This was far out of step with public attitudes on abortion and we were able to leverage this to show the dangers of abortion ‘decriminalisation’. Cathy Warwick announced her retirement last year.
Finally, abortion for disability has been an area that has resulted in much media coverage due to the introduction of a new prenatal test. This test is projected to result in a profound increase in the number of abortions of unborn children with Down’s syndrome.
With 90% of unborn children detected with Down’s syndrome currently aborted in the UK, this is already a big problem. The controversy around the tests has enabled us to have a wider conversation around disability-selective abortion.
Pro-active political strategy – building a better political situation for the unborn child and pregnant women
Through our work to educate politicians on life issues, we are helping to build a better political situation for the unborn child and pregnant women. We provide research for individual MPs and Peers in Parliament. Ongoing work includes developing briefings, building relationships with new parliamentarians, writing speeches for debates and preparing parliamentary questions. The unit also provides media and political monitoring and a number of other activities to ensure that life issues stay on the agenda in both Houses. Through this work, we aim to gain momentum by continuing to actively direct discussion on these topics.
Digital strategy – changing hearts and minds online
We have worked on growing our digital strategy to reach an even larger audience with smart, relevant, and viral-focused content.
Responding to the rise of video content on social media, we have taken on a Digital and Communication Officer, who also produces world-class videos which we have utilised in our campaigns and on social media. With this staff member’s capability and experience, we have been able to produce TV-commercial-quality videos for a fraction of the traditional cost.
This has worked alongside the regular content produced for our website, social media channels, and stand-alone campaigns, allowing us to reach 1.5 million people with targeted right-to-life messaging via our Facebook channel alone.
Making a bigger impact by working together
In everything we do, we begin by discerning how we can work together with as many of the (over 40) other partner groups with which we already have a relationship, to ensure that we have maximum impact.
We began by working with a large number of organisations to defeat the Marris assisted suicide Bill; our team-work with these groups has continued to develop as our focus has moved to “beginning of life” issues. Now, we are concentrating together on defeating the introduction of abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.