Pro-lifers step up prayer vigils despite legal threat in London

By Madeleine Teahan on Thursday, 9 August 2012

A vigil outside a BPAS clinic at Bedford Square in central LondonA vigil outside a BPAS clinic at Bedford Square in central London

Pro-life prayer vigils outside abortion clinics are expected to increase across London despite the threat of legal action from a global abortion provider. The pro-life prayer group 40 Days for Life will hold vigils outside abortion clinics in Brixton, Bedford Square and the Marie Stopes clinic in Whitfield Street between September 26 and November 4 of this year. The prayer vigils have become increasingly controversial since abortion provider Marie Stopes tried to secure a legal injunction against another pro-life group, the Good Counsel Network, for praying outside their clinic holding “baby pink and blue rosary beads”.

During the latest prayer vigil led by 40 Days for Life outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinic in Bedford Square, London, the organisation Abortion Rights launched a counter-protest following accusations that members of 40 Days for Life had filmed women entering abortion clinics. Responding to criticisms in a blog post last week, a spokeswoman for 40 Days for Life said that the media had “massively twisted what happens at 40 Days For Life”.

She continued: “They have tried to present it as an American-style ‘protest’ which it isn’t at all. At all vigils there is a sign displayed prominently saying ‘we are here to help’. And the help that is on offer is real, as many women will attest. No one is judging, condemning or bullying but trying to offer a lifeline.

“It is grotesquely wrong and unfair to conflate peaceful pro-life outreach with the murder of abortionists. All pro-lifers are appalled by violence, because we believe that all human life is worthy of our respect and protection. A few lone crazies do not represent any organisation or movement. It would be equally wrong to tar all peaceful Muslims with the 9/11 brush, or all atheists with the murderous purges of Stalin, Pol Pot or the French Revolution.”