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Thousands stand against abortion decriminalisation in Parliament Square, London

  • Polling data shows 70% of UK women would favour bringing UK 24-week abortion limit more into line with European standards (12-15 weeks) 
  • 7,000 march through central London in support of “better options than abortion” for women & unborn babies 

LONDON (4th September 2023) – Police estimated that 7,000 pro-life attendees of all ages, including a large contingent of youth, filled Parliament Square on Saturday to “March for Life”. Key messages expressed by participants highlighted support for more care for mothers and babies, and opposition to the decriminalisation of abortion. 

Attendees of note included Sir Edward Leigh MP, who was pictured with a sign reading “abortion is not healthcare, healthcare doesn’t kill…”. Religious leader and GB News host Calvin Robinson and Catholic Bishop John Sherrington also attended the event, as well as political commentators such as Tim Stanley, Fleur Meston, Anna McGovern, Alice Grant, and Connor Tomlinson.

“With a push to decriminalise abortion up to full term on the horizon, there’s never been a more critical time to raise concerns about women’s health and wellbeing. So many have been left traumatised or hospitalised as the result of abortions, and almost 1 in 5 women who undergo this procedure say they felt pushed into it. In the UK, we have abortion up to 24 weeks – about 6 months – at which point the baby is well-developed and can feel pain. In 2023, women and their babies deserve far better than abortion. We’re pushing for a future where both lives in a pregnancy are protected and supported,” said ADF UK’s Lois McLatchie Miller, who spoke at the rally. 


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“Women deserve better” than abortion up till birth 

Ellie, a young woman who received post-abortive counselling from charity Rachel’s Vineyard, addressed the crowd about her experience of having undergone three abortions.  

“I think I can speak for every post-abortive woman stood here today that abortion didn’t grant us freedom, but made us captives in one way or another.” 

Proposals to extend the abortion limit in the UK up till birth fall outside of the support of most women in the country, according to polling data obtained by Savanta ComRes. Only 1% of women in Great Britain supported extending abortion time limits beyond 24 weeks, with another 1% favouring up to birth. 

According to the same poll, 70% of women who favoured a reduction in time limits to earlier than 24 weeks. 

Counter-protests dwarfed in numbers 

Pro-abortion groups, advocating for abortion up to birth, held a small counter-protest, with support from London ANTIFA group “London Anti-fascist Assembly”, the “Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM)” and a handful of others. The counter-protesters were vastly outnumbered by the thousands of people, of all ages, supporting positive pro-woman and pro-life messages. 

Marching for Freedom 

Co-director of the event, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce who also spoke, shared her experience of being arrested for praying silently near an abortion facility, as was captured on a viral video earlier this year.  

“On the second time I was arrested I was told my prayers were an offence. I’ll tell you what is offensive – that our country has the highest ever abortion figures, with 100,000 of them annually being repeat abortions. The only response we see happening in or government is a clamp down on those who peacefully offer alternatives to pregnant women.” 

After being found “not guilty” once already, Vaughan-Spruce is still awaiting news as to whether she will be charged for a second time for praying about abortion inside her head within a PSPO “buffer zone” in Birmingham. ADF UK are supporting her legal defence.  

Father Sean Gough, who also faced criminal charges for praying in a censorial “buffer zone” including for a small “unborn lives matter” bumper sticker attached to his car, joined the march, holding up a drawing of the buffer sticker (image below). He was cleared of all charges earlier this year, also with support from ADF UK.  

Organisers of the March for Life have already signalled plans for the 10th Anniversary of the event next year, hoping to gather over 10,000 people to raise their voices in support of mothers and unborn babies.  

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