This morning, representatives from right-to-life groups from across the UK came together at Old Palace Yard outside the Palace of Westminster to commemorate the final passage of the Abortion Act 1967. Royal Assent for the Bill was declared by the Speaker of the House of Commons at 11:05am on Friday the 27th of October 1967, and so a Minute’s Silence was held from 11:04-11:05 this morning 50 years later.
Before the Minute’s Silence, Lord Alton of Liverpool, a veteran human rights campaigner, including for the right to life of unborn children, spoke at the event, describing the reality of the scandal and shame of legalised abortion, and encouraging those present.
The Abortion Act did not come into effect until six months later on the 27th April 1968, which is when abortions could be legally obtained. Since that time and by today, 8,894,355 abortions have taken place, and at least that many unborn children have been killed through abortion practice in the NHS, or through the private sector abortion industry.
Today begins six months of remembrance and public education by Right To Life and other groups before the commemoration of the Act coming into effect, by which time almost 9,000,000 abortions will have taken place.
Lord Alton of Liverpool, speaking at today’s commemoration, said:
“With courage, with integrity, with a passion for the best principles of our civilisation firing our efforts, let us rededicate ourselves to making sure that by the time the centennial commemoration of the Abortion Act is marked, our society will be one in which human equality and dignity is so fully respected and protected, that the violence of abortion will be consigned to where every human abuse and cruelty ultimately belongs: in the dustbin of our history.
We mourn today the failures of our society in capitulating to the hopelessness and cruelty of industrialised death. Yet we steel ourselves to work for the day when we succeed in establishing a lasting justice and a true peace.
May our indignant sorrow today be outdone by courageous hope, and may our current and future efforts secure a Britain in which those who succeed us are able to celebrate the ultimate and glorious triumph of human life”.
Sarah Haire, who attended the commemoration event, said:
“I was really glad to be there for the Minute’s Silence and for Lord Alton’s speech. It was deeply moving to be reminded of both the human cost of the killing that abortion always entails.
I really feel that with enough effort, we can inform the rest of the country about the humanity of the unborn child, establish adequate support for mothers in unplanned pregnancy, and create a society in which everyone is included and loved”.
RTL Executive Officer Peter D. Williams, said:
“Today is a day of great sadness and indignation due to the national shame of abortion. Millions of our fellow Britons have died due to a culture that prefers the easy false compassion of abortion, over the harder but real humanity of supporting pregnant mothers and their unborn children in unplanned and difficult pregnancies.
Despite this, we may have great hope for the future. With public awareness of the humanity of the unborn child greater than ever before, as well as ever-improving medical technology for pregnant women and babies at the foetal stage of their development, public opinion is moving in a more humane direction.
This May, a poll by ComRes showed that 70% of the public, including 70% of women, favoured a reduction in the upper time limit, with only 1% wanting to raise it, and only another 1% wanting to raise it up to birth. Another recent ICM poll commissioned by the BBC showed that 39% wanted to retain abortion in the criminal law, compared to 34% wanting to decriminalise it (many of whom will be unaware that ‘decriminalisation’ entails abortion on demand, for any reason, up to 28 weeks or else birth).
Public opinion is clearly against the abortion lobby’s inhumane agenda, and more in sympathy with the right-to-life movement’s concern for human equality, dignity, and rights. This is, and should be, the future of our laws in a society where more than ever before we affirm and protect the most vulnerable members of the human family”.