This week, I received an emailed notice from an pro-abortion group that said they were organizing a “counter demonstration” against the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil scheduled for today outside the abortion facility in London run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. I passed it along to some pro-life activists I know in London, saying that LifeSiteNews might be interested in seeing any photos or video if someone wants to take some pics. After that I promptly forgot about it.
In the meantime, everyone in Britain seems to be having hysterics. The fuss seems mainly to be focused on the increased presence of Catholic bishops at these events. So strange is this sort of thing in Britain, and so outraged are the abortionists that anyone would actually want to oppose them publicly, that it has caught the attention of the Guardian newspaper.
Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists to stage rival protests outside clinic
I thought the comment made a few weeks ago by Abigail Fitzgibbon, policy manager for BPAS summed up quite neatly the whole situation of abortion in Britain. She expressed her outrage that a Catholic bishop, of all people, would presume to attend: “If bishops are getting behind this then I can’t see how it’s morally justified especially when women have already made up their minds.”
Why it’s as if these people actually think that children are being murdered! And one of them’s a bishop! The cheek!
It does illustrate that the ruling abortionist junta in Britain thinks that it has the right to rule unopposed by even the meek and polite peeps made by England’s Catholics up to now. Accustomed to decades of opposition being politely framed in press releases and submissions to Parliament, imagine how shocked they must be to see actual people, standing, in person, in front of abortion facilities.
I suppose that since this sort of thing happens so regularly in North America, I didn’t really give it much thought. But of course, I had forgotten all about the pathological aversion of some people in the British Catholic Church and, sadly, in their pro-life movement, to “confrontation”. It’s such a new thing in Britain that the abortionists are making quite a bit of hay in the press with headlines like “US-based anti-choice groups” applying “North American-style tactics”.
Organisers of the counter-protest have said they just want to remind the “tiny, vocal minority” of pro-lifers that there is a “pro-choice majority in this country”. (Trust me. We know.)
And the carefully stage-managed outrage seems to be having the desired effect. The idea that they might be directly opposed, by people showing up with placards, seems to have a few Catholic episcopal knees knocking.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, therefore, to receive a note from a Catholic acquaintance in London telling me of a buzzing rumour that the “confrontational” situation has so upset the Catholic hierarchy that that it is feared Archbishop Nichols will order his subordinate Bishop Hopes not to attend.
At the moment Archbishop Vincent is in Rome giving talks on the relationship between the Church and the State, English style, which puts him within easy calling distance for me. That he would dream of risking the bad publicity he would get in the Catholic world if he ordered Bp. Hopes not to attend, seems shocking, even to me. If Bishop Hopes doesn’t come today, I can assure readers that Archbishop Vincent will be getting a phone call.
But the fuss everyone is making certainly makes abundantly clear that this confrontation, no matter how scary, is precisely the sort of thing that has been needed all along. I remember once going to an activists’ meeting in New Jersey held by a group there who combine graphic images, the awful photos of decapitated children, with pro-life apologetics training, teaching activists to make the rational case with facts and logic instead of emotions and religion.
They were very effective, and they hold that until the issue is brought forcefully before the eyes of the public, abortion will remain in the abstract realm of “competing rights”. No amount of lobbying, lectures and conferences are going to make a real difference until the public understands what it is we’re talking about.
Push a photo of a dismembered corpse under someone’s nose and, offended and upset as he might become, the discussion stops being about “women’s rights” pretty quickly.
The abortionists in Britain have held the floor for long enough. It’s time someone else was allowed to get a word in edgewise.