Thank you for your support in 2022!
Right To Life UK has had a challenging and busy year, with the abortion lobby’s relentless campaign to introduce a new extreme abortion law – and the loss, by only 29 votes, on an amendment to a Government bill that the abortion lobby introduced, which resulted in ‘DIY’ abortions being made available permanently.
Despite this devastating loss, we have been able to put up a strong fight every time they have attempted to advance their campaign to introduce a new extreme abortion law in Parliament, the media and amongst the wider public.
Alongside this, we have been able to secure a number of key victories and achievements. I wanted to share some of these with you and thank you for your support.
These important victories could not have happened without you.
1. Defeat of major attempt to introduce assisted suicide
In March, an attempt in the House of Lords by Lord Forsyth to hijack the Government’s Health and Care Bill to force the Government to introduce legislation on assisted suicide was defeated by 179 votes to 145.
This was a major upset, and reversal of fortunes, for the assisted suicide lobby who were expecting to win the vote in the House of Lords, as they had done on votes to amendments the last time they attempted to use the House of Lords to introduce assisted suicide in 2015.
This could not have happened without the amazing work of thousands of Right To Life UK supporters, like you, who wrote to Peers ahead of the debate.
A number of Peers quoted letters from supporters in the debates that happened around this amendment, as well as in debates on Baroness Meacher’s assisted suicide Bill, which also failed to become law.
The campaign against Lord Forsyth’s amendment and Baroness Meacher’s Bill included the publishing of a considerable number of opinion pieces in mainstream media outlets from MPs, Peers, doctors, and other experts highlighting major issues with introducing assisted suicide.
Thank you again to our supporters who gave so generously to enable us to have the resources in place to work closely with MPs, Peers and like-minded organisations to run a very large campaign against both attempts to introduce assisted suicide.
Again, none of this would have been in place in order to help achieve this great outcome without your generous financial support.
Unfortunately, this is not the end. We know the assisted suicide lobby, headed by ‘Dignity in Dying’, will be back shortly with their next attempt to introduce assisted suicide. We will be working hard to oppose them at every step along the way and will need your help with contacting MPs and other activities.
2. Continued strong opposition to introducing an extreme abortion law
In 2022, the abortion lobby continued their campaign to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.
Most recently, they mobilised over 160,000 pro-abortion supporters to sign a petition on the Parliament petition website that triggered a debate on introducing a ‘right’ to abortion in UK law.
An overwhelming majority of the MPs who spoke in the debate opposed introducing extreme changes to abortion legislation.
Your work writing to your MPs ensured that such a large group of MPs spoke out in Parliament against making extreme changes to abortion legislation so thank you to everyone who took the time to email their MPs on this issue.
The abortion lobby will not give up on their campaign though. They will be using any opportunity they can to progress their proposals in 2023. They have also made it very clear that they will be bringing forward an amendment to the upcoming Bill of Rights Bill to make radical changes to abortion legislation. This will require a substantial amount of work to defeat.
3. Our digital strategy is changing even more hearts and minds of a new generation online
Over the last year, we have worked on further growing our digital strategy to reach a larger audience online with smart, engaging and viral-focused content.
Our growing presence on social media across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and TikTok has enabled us to reach a new generation of people on a massive scale.
Thanks to your support and the sharing of content that our digital team has produced, our content has been viewed tens of millions of times on social media and our website. This includes beautifully produced videos, imagery, news articles and resources, designed from the ground up to change hearts and minds on life issues.
Responding to the rise of short-form video content, which has taken off on social media over the year, we have further developed our in-house digital video capacity. This has allowed us to produce more world-class videos that we have utilised in our campaigns and on social media. In fact, one of our videos has been viewed over 9 million times!
We have also further built our in-house capability to produce world-class digital content – all of this has been produced by our digital team for a fraction of the cost of hiring leading agencies.
Alongside our social media strategy, we have further developed our website with a focus on making it the go-to tool that any member of the public can use to easily contact their MPs and access the latest information on life issues.
4. Expanding our network of grassroots campaigners in constituencies around the country
In 2022, thanks to supporters like you who have encouraged friends and family to get involved, we have been able to further grow our network of grassroots campaigners in constituencies around the country.
On the political front, this has meant that shortly after a challenge or opportunity has arisen in Parliament requiring urgent pressure from constituents, we have been able to mobilise this network of tens of thousands of campaigners around the country within hours to contact their MPs on this issue.
This has made it clear to MPs and Peers that there is strong opposition to abortion and assisted suicide from their constituents, which helps them vote the right way on these issues. For pro-life MPs, this shows them they have the backing of a large number of people in their constituency, making it easier for them to bravely speak out on life issues in Parliament.
In terms of changing the wider culture on life issues, this growing network of grassroots campaigners have also been armed with the resources they need to share the pro-life message, not only with their local MPs but also with their friends, families and local communities.
5. Growth of the Right To Life News digital news platform to keep even more people informed with news on life issues
Thank you to the many supporters who have regularly used the Right To Life News digital news platform and shared the articles featured on the platform. This has ensured that the news service has been able to reach a far wider audience of people with pro-life news in 2022, keeping people informed and helping change even more hearts and minds toward a culture of life.
At the start of 2022, our website was already the most viewed pro-life website in Europe and the fourth most viewed pro-life website in the world – and the further growth this year of the news platform has enabled us to reach even more people.
The good relationships that we currently have with a number of mainstream media outlets ensure that we get to regularly comment in the media, however we can’t always ensure that this media coverage includes all the key points that the public need to know about an issue.
Right To Life News ensures that we have a platform where we can reach a large audience in the UK and beyond with reliable pro-life news – and that we are not limited by what editors in major newspapers choose to publish.
The news platform has been built by our in-house digital team from the ground up so that it provides people with the world-class user-driver design experience that they would expect from a news platform run by a major global media outlet.
In 2023, we will focus on further developing the platform and our wider website so we can reach far more people with well-written, useful content that helps change hearts and minds on life issues.
6. Our media strategy is helping shape the mainstream media narrative on life issues
Policy change on life issues does not happen in a vacuum. It can only happen with wider cultural change outside Parliament.
A key component of our work to change the wider culture’s position on life issues is by ensuring that pro-life messaging is regularly featured in mainstream media outlets and that this messaging supports positive changes that are being brought forward in Parliament.
Over the last year, we have been able to further grow our reach in the media by putting a big emphasis on getting positive pro-life messaging regularly featured in the mainstream media.
We focus on the mainstream media because this ensures we can reach a large middle ground of people on this issue.
While this can often be difficult, with many in the media hostile to the right-to-life point of view, there are a number of key areas where research shows the majority of people are very open to seeing positive political and cultural change in relation to our abortion laws.
This includes highlighting the issues with sex-selective abortion, our current extreme abortion time limit and abortion for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.
We have been able to target these areas to shape the debate towards a broader recognition of the right to life of the unborn child and the need to support mothers facing unplanned pregnancies.
We have also put an emphasis on ensuring that the spokespeople we use as the voice on these issues in the media are most likely to connect with mainstream audiences. This has included women who have been personally affected by abortion, people with disabilities and medical experts.
7. Developing a new generation of pro-lifers through our education and training programmes
In 2022, we have continued to grow our work focused on equipping and developing a new generation of pro-lifers who can effectively communicate an evidence-based case for positive change on life issues.
This has included the growth of our Internship Programme. The programme is designed to introduce students and graduates with a passion for life issues to the world of the pro-life movement and its work across the media, politics, education and grassroots engagement.
Alongside this programme, we have also grown our work teaching young pro-lifers an understanding of key pro-life issues and the ability to communicate these issues in the media. This work has helped equip these young people with the necessary skills and techniques to deliver strong interviews, deal with difficult and hostile questions and deliver an authentic perspective on life issues.
Together with the growth of our wider digital outreach over the past year, this has enabled us to educate and develop a new movement of young people who are passionate about achieving positive change on life issues. In 2023, we will be working on further expanding our education and training programmes.