The vital lesson Roe v Wade can teach UK pro-lifers

Pro-life and pro-abortion activists outside the US Supreme Court, 22 January 2015(Photo: Getty/iStock)

The last few months have been a rollercoaster ride for the pro-life movement worldwide! After nearly fifty years of prayer, campaign and education, Roe v Wade has been overturned.

The American pro-life movement has achieved a remarkable victory, and it provides great hope and encouragement for all of us.

As I approach the end of my first year as CEO of SPUC, I am more convinced than ever that with your support, victory is possible here too.

The pro-abortion lobby knows it - and has been flailing around in desperation ever since the ruling. In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court's decision, abortion fanatics waged a campaign of violence against prayer groups, pro-life campaigners and even churches.

But since the Supreme Court judgment arrived, the opposition is like nothing we have seen before.

As abortion becomes illegal in more and more states, those seeking abortions will have to travel between states for this deadly procedure.

And big business has been quick to demonstrate its allegiance to the Abortion Empire.

Here are just a few of the companies who have said that they will pay travel costs for anyone procuring an abortion in another state:

But it's not just allegiance to the abortion monolith that's motivating this "charity." There's money to be made here too. Sharona Hoffman – professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University – said to National Public Radio (NPR):

"It's certainly cheaper than having to pay for pregnancy care and for delivery of the child and then to support the child for 26 years [...] "So employers might do a cost-benefit analysis and say if the woman really doesn't want to have a child, it's cheaper for us as well."

Robert Field, professor of health management and policy at Drexel University, has said that paying these costs could even be a "recruiting advantage" for younger workers - "the kind of people that many companies want to have".

So not only are these companies facilitating the killing of unborn children – they're also saving money on maternity costs, and attracting a younger workforce.

Behind the narrative of "choice" lies a lot of commercial greed.

But do you know what's most striking about the overturning of Roe v. Wade? This kind of dramatic victory could happen here. The abortion fanatics know it and are terrified.

Soon after the announcement, the pro-abortion MP Stella Creasy said: "No one thought American Supreme Court would ever overturn a right previously granted either..."

It took American pro-lifers decades of prayer, work, organising, and educating to achieve what the abortion fanatics thought impossible.

This is why the mainstream media have re-focused their sights on SPUC and are publishing hit-piece after hit-piece against us.

Abortion zealots know that we are the most significant anti-abortion, pro-life organisation in the country. As Stella Creasy said: "You think what you see in America couldn't happen here? Then you don't understand who is organising in UK politics."

"12 weeks ago we had to fight [a] cross party effort after this government tried to ban abortion telemedicine and make it hard for women to access abortion pills. SPUC lobby hard...

"If you think there's a settled will on abortion in Westminster you aren't paying attention."

But if we want to achieve the results that we have seen are possible in America, we need to radically scale up our operations and focus our efforts on exposing the abortion industry where they are most vulnerable. I want to share with you SPUC's plan for achieving dramatic results in the UK.

1. 100 supporters in every constituency

SPUC has many exciting new projects that are changing our culture and caring for women and girls.

But there is no substitute for hard, focused lobbying of politicians, particularly local MPs. Political campaigning is at the heart of what SPUC does.

Many MPs on the fence will vote for abortion, because they fear the pressure from their party and the noisy abortion fanatics.

We must make sure that the pressure from us is greater. After all, their jobs depend on our votes. They need to know that we, their constituents, do not want abortion.

We can achieve a lot in a constituency with just a handful of supporters. But you know the saying: "Shoot for the moon, land in the stars."

So imagine what we could do for unborn babies if we had 100 reliable activists in each constituency, motivating hundreds of others to make all the difference?

This is a long term project. Building a body of activists and supporters isn't easy, and it isn't cheap.

A key way of achieving this ambitious goal is having a dedicated staff member in each of the UK's Parliaments and Assemblies.

This would enable us to develop our links between the politicians and our grassroots, and so help with strengthening local branches, distributing materials on the streets, and mobilising activists at a moment's notice.

The finance department have advised me a dedicated parliamentary officer in each of the parliaments requires funds of £120,000.

Given the constant efforts and underhanded moves to expand abortion through the Parliaments and Assemblies, time is of the essence. The clock is ticking for unborn babies and their mothers. Will you help us with a contribution towards this crucial target?

2. Project Truth - bringing the pro-life message to the streets

SPUC's Project Truth has seen a dedicated team of young SPUC supporters take to the streets of nine major towns and cities across Scotland.

Project Truth is vital for sharing life-saving information and inspiring new grassroots supporters.

In some cases, it opens up help and healing to those hurt by abortion, putting them in touch with support they never knew existed.

It also prepares the young team for a hostile culture. They leave the Project Truth roadshow better equipped to discuss abortion and to promote the message of life.

But imagine if instead of a one-week summer roadshow, we could do it for all 6 weeks of the summer holidays? And imagine if instead of training 20 young pro-lifers, we could train 100?

And imagine if instead of visiting 9 towns and cities across Scotland, we could bring this life-changing message to dozens across the UK?

We need to do more than imagine.

This scaling-up is essential if we want to achieve the repeal of the Abortion Act after more than fifty years of killing.

But even a one-week summer roadshow is an enormous investment. It takes months of preparation, not to mention badly-needed funds.

We have a sophisticated training programme created by SPUC, which has already been used to train pro-lifers in other countries – with great success.

But at present, the whole operation is organised by one part-time member of staff, and we urgently need more staff to help deliver this training. This is to say nothing of the other operational aspects of Project Truth.

If we want to scale this project up we have to start NOW. The finance team have advised me that we need an extra £70,000 if we are to triple the number of towns and cities we visit over the next year. Will youDonate

 to help us bring the pro-life message to the heart of the UK's major cities?

3. Fighting for our free speech

The abortion fanatics don't just want the right to kill babies. They want to CRUSH the pro-life movement, and drive SPUC out of the public sphere.

They don't want SPUC or Project Truth presenting scientific facts about how life begins, or about the basic principles of right and wrong.

These anti-science fanatics also want to create "buffer zones", banning pro-lifers from standing silently outside abortion facilities and offering last-minute help and real choice to women in need. They even want to ban prayer.

In a buffer zone hearing Scottish Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC defended the tyrannical bill passed in Northern Ireland, arguing that there was no difference between silent prayer and violent and aggressive demonstrations.

She even suggested that silent prayer can be more psychologically damaging to women than noisy protests.

If a proposed Scottish bill goes through, attending a pro-life vigil may lead to a jail sentence – 6 months for a first "offence," and 2 years thereafter.

Make no mistake: they are attacking the freedom to hold pro-life vigils first, but soon they will try to extend this elsewhere. Soon they will be coming for you.

Universities are disaffiliating pro-life student societies across the country. The press are trying to stop SPUC conferences and activities by aggressively pressuring venues.

How long before even expressing anti-abortion opinions is illegal? What would this mean for SPUC's pro-life meetings, branches, pro-life chains and conferences?

If we are unable to meet and mobilise or speak freely, we will not overturn Britain's Abortion Act and make abortion unthinkable.

This is why SPUC is leading the fight for pro-life speech, and we have been urging our supporters to take part in the recent Scottish public consultation.

If we cannot offer help outside abortion facilities, countless unborn babies will die.

We need to prevent this bill becoming law. Many SPUC supporters replied to the recent public consultation. However, we need to keep up the pressure in the debate stages – and we are encouraging Scottish supporters to flood their MSPs with letters on this topic.

It is vital that we prepare for this now, because time is of the essence. The campaigns team has advised me that in order to fully resource our campaign against this Bill, we need to raise sums in the realm of £60,000.

Please help us fight back against these dreadful, chilling attempts to suppress and criminalise pro-life speech and the right to free assembly.

John Deighan is CEO of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).