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 40 Days for Life

(40 Days for Life) — On March 5, 2024, 40 Days for Life Edinburgh leader Mairi Lucas shared her testimony with the Scottish Parliament. Her testimony included no false claims or inflammatory speech, just the truth about abortion and the plain facts from her own experience.

Here is Mairi’s story in her own words:

In Autumn 1988, at the age of 20, I discovered I was pregnant. I was in third year at Edinburgh Art College, and I panicked about what my future would hold if I went ahead with the pregnancy.

I went to the doctor, knowing that if I said I needed an abortion because having the baby would be psychologically harmful to me, I would be most likely to get one. The doctor showed no resistance and did not seek in any way to explore or offer alternatives to abortion. I was not offered counselling; I was not offered any other type of advice or support and the possibility of adoption for my baby was never talked about.

I was given a scan and discovered that I was almost 13 weeks into the pregnancy. The screen was turned away from me. I only saw my baby at that stage because I asked to see the screen and saw my baby moving around.

During that time between going for the scan and going to the hospital for the abortion, I began to change my mind about the abortion. I started to bond with the baby and began to place my hand on my stomach as many pregnant women do. It was several days between the scan and my admission into the hospital for the abortion. No one checked in with me to make sure that I wanted to go ahead with the abortion. No alternatives were explored, and no counselling was offered. I felt alone and as if I had no choice.

In the early hours of November 29, my dead baby came out of my body. I was alone in the hospital room and saw his tiny little body.

A dark cloud descended on me that day and stayed with me for more than three decades. Because I had taken a life, I didn’t feel I had a right to a full and happy life. I have had depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-loathing.

It wasn’t until I embarked on a healing journey of many years that I began to see the harm which I had done to myself by ending the life of my little boy. Part of the healing journey was fully accepting my responsibility for ending the life of an innocent human being.

There were several pivotal moments in my healing journey. One of these was becoming a Christian at the age of 31. Another pivotal moment was realizing that I didn’t have to punish myself for ending my son’s life because, as a Christian, I am forgiven. Another pivotal moment was when I named my little boy – his name is Raymond – sometimes I think of him as Raimy for short. Raimy means “celebration.” My Christian faith gives me hope that my son is in a beautiful place and that I will see him again one day: that will be great cause for celebration indeed.

As well as co-ordinating the 40 Days for Life vigil in Edinburgh, I lead women through a recovery programme called PASE which stands for Post-Abortion Support for Everyone. I have met many women who have come through post-abortion recovery. There are many similarities in their stories.

1.     Many report that there were no alternatives offered to them and there was no counseling. Some even report being pressur[ed] by health professionals into having an abortion.

2.     Most women realize that they were harmed in some way by their experience of having had an abortion. This may be recklessness, promiscuity, drug taking or alcohol abuse, depression, anger, rage, breakdown, overwhelming grief, and suicidal thoughts.

Without healing this would be tragic, but with healing there is hope. I recently heard someone say that our greatest wound, when healed becomes our gift to the world. I believe my gift to the world is my abortion story.

Mairi also shared why she participates in 40 Days for Life. She believes that the presence at the clinic is bearing witness to the value of every human life and the danger of abortion both to the mother and the child. Mairi believes in the power of prayer and that 40 Days for life offers a way out for those who, in their heart of hearts, are not at peace with their decision to have an abortion. A route of recovery is offered for those who have been harmed from abortion.

READ: 40 Days for Life group determined to ‘stand firm’ in Scotland against threats to free speech


Mairi described what a 40 Days for Life vigil entails: a small group who pray, talk to one another, and talk to members of the public who start a conversation with us. The Edinburgh group do not initiate conversations but hold placards. The placards have contact details for post abortion recovery and crisis pregnancy support. The messages on the placards include, “Love begins in the womb,” “Love Protects,” and “Ask me about my abortion.” The group does not call out to people, or shout at people, or prevent people from entering the facility. The group are a peaceful presence.

At the Glasgow vigil in Lent 2024, we received the following testimony:

I’m delighted to let you know today at 40 Days for life Glasgow Govan, a baby’s life has been saved. The parents driving in to the hospital saw the sign “Pregnant? We can help you” and decided at that moment that this baby was to live. Hallelujah. All heaven rejoices!

A gentleman greeted us soon after it – to tell us his friend and his wife had changed their minds at the last minute upon seeing the handheld sign. This goes to show you how life is held in a precarious balance between life and death.

Who can argue the point that we represent a life line to those vulnerable women and men who are looking for a sign beyond their themselves to a higher authority to reorientate their thinking to choosing Life.

Mairi also mentioned that Emma Roddick MSP [Member of Scottish Parliament] had made accusations that people in her group were “violently preventing people from accessing healthcare” while Alex Cole Hamilton MSP had made accusations that Mairi’s group were “molesting” people. These false accusations most likely added fuel to the media firestorm over the issue of buffer zones where the press routinely misrepresent the group.

This behavior then in turn emboldens pro-abortion activists. Last year, Mairi’s group received an email from someone who threatened to follow one of the volunteers home and stick a knife in her vagina. Last year, a man felt sufficiently justified to pour 4 pints of milk over heads of volunteers as they stood praying opposite the facility. The group are routinely intimidated, shouted at ,and verbally abused.

READ: Pro-abortion activists attack, scream at German pro-lifers praying the Rosary outside abortion center

Mairi’s story and witness is both inspiring and encouraging. Her presence in the midst of intimidation by parliamentarians and activists gives glory to God. Thank you to all our amazing volunteers and witnesses in Scotland!

Reprinted with permission from 40 Days for Life.