Right To Life UK are a 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 people right across the UK to undertake educational, political, media and grassroots work to defend the right to life of every human being. 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 people 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 and preparing any other research required by MPs and peers.
We also provide 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.
Education and training – to develop a new generation of pro-lifers
We are working to develop a new generation of pro-lifers who are equipped to effectively communicate an evidence-based case for positive change on life issues.
Our Media and Communications Training Programme has provided a new generation of pro-lifers with an understanding of key pro-life issues and the ability to communicate these issues in the media. The programme equips participants with the necessary skills and techniques to deliver strong interviews, control difficult and hostile questions and to deliver an authentic perspective on life issues.
Our Internship Programme is introducing student right-to-lifers and new graduates to the world of the right-to-life movement and its work across the media, politics, education and grassroots engagement. Graduates of our programme have gone on to a number of important roles in a variety of sectors.
Together with our wider digital outreach, these programmes work to enable us to educate and develop a new movement of young people who are passionate about achieving positive change on life issues.
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.
Europe's largest pro-life news service - keeping people up to date on the latest developments on life issues
Our website is the most viewed pro-life website in Europe and the fourth most viewed pro-life website in the world – at the core of the website is our digital news service.
This news service has been launched so that we can reach a far wider audience of people with UK focussed, pro-life news that will keep people informed and help change even more hearts and minds on life issues.
We have designed the platform from the ground up so that is easily viewable across desktop, mobile and tablet, as increasing numbers of people are accessing content on their mobile phones and tablet devices. Our team have also put a lot of work into designing a look and feel for the service that is of professional standard similar to what you would expect to see from a major news outlet.
We currently have good relationships with a number of mainstream media outlets which ensures that we get to regularly comment in the media. That said, we can’t always ensure that these articles cover all the key points that the public need to know about a given issue.
Our news service ensures that we have a platform where reliable pro-life news and views are accessible to everyone in the UK and that we are not limited by what editors in major newspapers choose to publish.
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.