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Pro-lifers taking part in 40 Days for Life in Glasgow, ScotlandTwitter

GLASGOW, Scotland (LifeSiteNews) — As soon as the Catholics of Scotland heard that 40 Days for Life was coming to town, they began to ask Rose, “What do you need?” and “How can I help?”

Despite never having heard of 40 Days for Life, Rose had volunteered to lead its first-ever vigil in Glasgow.

She had long believed the Scottish pro-life movement should deepen their prayer life as their first port of call in waging the spiritual battle against the ever-increasing abortion rates in Scotland.

Rose had traveled the pro-life road of being a volunteer counselor in a lay Catholic crisis pregnancy support group for 15 years as her children grew up to then becoming a professional political lobbyist. All this provided her with a front-row seat to what has come to be known as the culture of death.

Throughout this time, she witnessed the steady moral erosion of our Scottish society and saw how young pregnant women were being coerced down the abortion pathway by social workers and other healthcare professionals. It was clear that many were not being given honest information about abortion. Many were told, “It’s just a clump of cells, it’s nothing,” and then, after their abortions, abandoned to pick up the pieces of their lives, often alone and deeply traumatized.

It was also clear to Rose how the morally corrupt political party selection processes weeded out candidates with pro-life views. She said that it seemed that as a society we were succumbing to the devastating impact of radical feminism. Moreover, into this toxic ideology, politics, media, education, and the public and private employment sectors had fallen like skittles in a ten-pin bowling alley.

Nowhere is this impact more clearly defined than in Scotland’s falling birth rate and ever-increasing abortion rate.

With a population of only 5.4 million, Scotland has tragically aborted 10 percent of its population. The U.K. abortion total has now surpassed 10 million babies. These are horrific figures for any nation.

“Dear God, help us,” she thought, and as she drove across town, Rose would notice half a dozen people praying for an end to abortion outside one of Glasgow’s oldest hospitals. Rose vowed that day that, when she retired, she would join them and pray with them for a culture of life, for an end to abortion. Her involvement in this street prayer group served as a spiritual preparation for her 40 Days for Life journey.

Upon learning about 40 Days for Life’s structure and required timeframe and despite wondering how on earth such a thing was possible, Rose decided immediately that she would step up to the challenge. As she thought to herself, “How else is the world to change if we don’t stand up?” She went straight to Glasgow’s Catholic cathedral. Kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, she prayed, “Dear God, about this 40 Days for Life, please take my hand and show me the way!”

This prayer would develop as the Vigil progressed and grew.

Rose shares with everyone that it is spiritually intoxicating to learn how God shows you the way when you immediately say “Yes” to Him.

Suddenly, the people of Scotland responded. Messages came in from the Highlands and the Islands and from across the central belt of Scotland as soon as word of 40 Days for Life in Glasgow got out.

People from all over Scotland wrote, “We are praying for you! We wish you well!”  The religious orders also promised prayers. Some people traveled considerable distances to attend the Vigil, and all age groups were represented. One of the very first spiritual indicators of the likely success of 40 Days for Life was the number of men who volunteered to pray publicly on the streets for an end to abortion. “It was as if the Holy Spirit were billowing our sails,” Rose said.

Stuart, a recently retired teacher, was the very first to join. From the very beginning, he has been Glasgow’s Outreach Coordinator for 40 Days for Life. In fact, without Stuart there would not be a 40 Days for Life in Scotland. It was almost as if God said to Rose, “If you are going to do 40 Days for Life you will need Stuart, so I’ll send him along,” and then He did.

In that first-ever Glasgow vigil, hundreds of people signed up. Today, our 40 Days for Life vigil, located outside the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, is in its ninth year. This hospital is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. In the meantime, our vigil family goes from strength to strength. Strong familial bonds have been established, and year after year people return to once more fulfil their Lenten commitment by taking part in our 40 Days for Life vigil.

Each year, the Vigil draws ever more media coverage, although Rose continues to decline interviews, for such is the media bias. BBC and STV camera crews were much in evidence on Ash Wednesday as indeed were numerous other broadsheet and tabloid journalists. There were also freelance photojournalists, and opposition social media posts read, “Next week is the start of Lent, and you know what that means!”

This year in its desperation to block our pro-life posters offering help and support and warning that abortion is not healthcare, the pro-abortion opposition has stopped using cars and started using trailer trucks. On several occasions, these huge vehicles would roll up and park up right in front of the Vigil site. This stopped when the truck company owners were contacted and informed of their drivers’ behavior.

And, joy of joys, over these nine years we learned that the lives of at least four babies have been spared from abortion. The most recent was saved early in March this year during the Vigil. The parents of this little child saw our message boards and decided to keep their baby. There was much jubilation at this wonderful news within the entire 40 Days for Life family across Scotland.

Thankfully, we can say that the great public support for our Vigil has sent the horrific culture of death in Scotland into a tailspin.

Now the Scottish government, assisted by a secular press and media, are determined to enshrine in law a so-called Abortion Services Bill (Safe Access Zones, Scotland). As 40 Days for Life leader, Rose has continually rebuffed invitations from the Scottish Parliament to take part in the so-called consultations on “buffer zones.” Her reason is that this proposed bill is based upon a false premise: that the vigils are marked by intimidation and harassment. There is no intimidation and harassment. As Rose said, “We are not in the habit of attending meetings to discuss things that are not happening.”

“It is a classic case of the emperor’s new clothes,” she added. “Our response to the Scottish government is ‘The emperor is naked; he has no clothes on!’”

Furthermore, the accusations of intimidation and harassment have been initiated by the pro-abortion opposition along with the radical feminist politicians who are promoting this consultation charade.

At the very first 40 Days for Life vigil in Glasgow, Rose decided that the best way to get its culture of life message across was for it to metaphorically write its very own story, there on the ground, at the vigil location, outside the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in broad daylight, over the coming days or weeks for however long it would take. We are not hiding in plain sight: we are in plain sight. We have nothing to hide.

In a February 16, 2024, letter to the Scottish Herald, Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office in Airdrie, Glasgow, said the following:

Police Scotland has not at any point called for more powers to deal with vigils outside of abortion centres in Scotland. In its submission to the Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, Scotland’s police force stated that ‘existing powers and offences (whether statutory or common law) are sufficient to address any unlawful behaviour in the vicinity of health care premises.’’

He went on to say:

Presumably, Police Scotland is referring to legislation such as section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2010, which already makes it illegal to engage in behaviour which causes harassment, alarm, or distress to others.

This proposed Abortion Services Bill has been described by Robert Colquhoun, the U.K. international director of 40 Days for Life, as “the worst buffer zone legislation in the world ever proposed:”

Worse than Canada, England, USA, Australia, New Zealand or anywhere else [in the world] because it can be extended indefinitely. If passed, this Bill will lead to the criminalization of those silently praying in Scotland, who are seeking to show that help and support is available; to show that abortion is a dark place; and that the taking of the life of a child will be a burden that is painful [for that woman] to carry.

Rose added that Scotland will be introducing apartheid if this Bill is introduced. If buffer zones are introduced in Scotland, this would be tantamount to saying, “You Christians must sit at the back of the bus and take your pro-life cause with you. You can’t stand there. You must go and stand over there, and if we want to move you further away, then we will tell you again to move.”

But we are not going away.

Indeed, our Vigil continues to be a David and Goliath struggle, as we peacefully resist the introduction of this iniquitous apartheid law, but we are not alone in this spiritual battle. God is with us.

The horrific buffer zone law would most definitely have resulted in the death of the little child whose parents, seeing our vigil outside the grounds of the QEUH two weeks ago, chose life over death for their child.

In the face of it all, we are resolute, “We stand firm,” to quote our 40 Days for Life Vigil motto. We will stand by it as we stand by the life of every preborn baby in the womb of his or her mother.