Commemoration of 50 Years of Abortion

10 Jan 2018

On the morning of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, representatives from pro-life groups from across the UK gathered outside the Palace of Westminster to commemorate the final passage of the Abortion Act 1967. At 11:05am on the 27th of October 1967 Royal Assent for the Bill was declared by the Speaker of the House of Commons so a minute’s silence was held from 11:04-11:05. Lord Alton of Liverpool, a human rights campaigner spoke at the event saying: “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 was one of those 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”. (As quoted by Right to Life)

Right to Life 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 fetal 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.”. (As quoted by Right to Life)

Chief Executive of SPUC John Smeaton said: "It was very good to stand shoulder to shoulder with other pro-life leaders. This is the way forward in the battles ahead."

On Saturday 28th October organisation CARE hosted a gathering at the Emmanuel Centre in London to commemorate the 50th Anniversary, to pray about the loss of unborn life, to show solidarity towards women and men who have been affected by abortion and to revitalise efforts to stop further liberalisation of abortion laws. Some of those who contributed were Lord Alton of Liverpool, MP Fiona Bruce, Noel Robinson and Blue Apple Theatre and the evening was a mix of information, theatre performances, music, prayer, a time of reflection and a time of mobilising for the future. 

27th October 2017 also marked the beginning of six months of remembrance and public education by Right To Life and other groups.