Monday, 2 April 2012

Bloomsbury Square Vigil 30th March 2012

As members of Integrity and Action started to gather outside Russell Street underground station on Friday evening ahead of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, there was, amongst some, a slight feeling of trepidation for what lay ahead.  The campaign, which finishes this weekend, had been well attended throughout by the most dedicated I & A members.  They, as anyone who has engaged in activities in defence of the unborn child, are well acquainted with the vitriolic verbal abuse one invariably receives from the odd passer-by.  But, in the week preceding the major occasion in this particular 40 Day event at the BPAS house at Bedford Square, London, which was to have an Episcopal presence in the form of Bishop Hopes, the insults and derision had taken on a distinctly nasty tone, and it did not come from one or two isolated pedestrians, it was organised and directed by the Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance.

Decrying the supposed intimidation and harassment of women entering the BPAS clinic, the Bloomsbury Alliance, with an astonishing lack of self-awareness, began to employ intimidation tactics towards the pro-lifers.  An I & A member who witnessed the unpleasant goings-on wrote an email documenting what they saw:

“The pro-death people turned up in a large number and hurled a torrent of abuse and insults with their loudspeakers, guitars and basically shouted at us for nearly 2 hours while a smaller group of Catholics tried peacefully to pray. There was a lot nasty anti-Catholic abuse.
There were moments where a few of us had to walk away as a some of the demonstrators were putting their cameras right in front of our faces and taunting especially one of our group.
Amongst other filthy things they were saying, one of the girls in this pro-choice group started lifting up her skirt and being really vulgar towards us (especially the men).”

Another email from another I & A member informed us that through the week the 40 Days group had been pelted with eggs and had their banner stolen.  Theft and assault not being too low for these people it is understandable that there was a worry that things might get ugly on the Friday evening as the Bloomsbury Alliance were claiming up to 400 people were likely to attend their counter-demonstration.

These emails served as a rallying cry to friends and supporters from all over the country who descended on London, ready to defend the rights of the unborn.



As we approached the vigil after congregating at the tube we could see the two groups from a distance and the ratio seemed to be about five pro-lifers for every three pro-abortionists.  Both groups grew in size rapidly but the ratio remained much the same all evening.  (See this link from Joseph Shaw for a review of the numbers that have been grossly misreported by the mainstream media: http://www.lmschairman.org/2012/03/forty-days-for-life-in-bedford-square.html).

video
There was already a substantial police presence working on separating the two groups with metal barriers to the jeers of the pro-abortionists who, presumably, had hoped to get right up close and personal as on previous occasions.  A number of invitations were extended to members of the 40 Days vigil from the pro-aborts to break ranks and engage them on a more physical level, but these invites were respectfully declined.  Though, if they were prevented from threatening and intimidating, they could still try to disrupt, and they did this as best they could with loudspeakers, drums, and chanting.  They displayed placards with all kinds of obscenities and blasphemies, but most of their songs and chants were just juvenile: Ten Green Bottles seems to be a favourite.  However, the most amusing chant of the evening came as the pro-lifers got down on their knees to say the fifth sorrowful mystery of the Rosary.  ‘Sit (sic) down if you hate women!’ was the response from the Bloomsbury Alliance.  If anyone from that group is reading, to avoid future embarrassment you ought to know it’s called kneeling.

Despite all the uproar the 40 Days for Life vigil remained calm and prayerful throughout and it must go down as one of the most promising successes of the pro-life movement in England for many years.

If sometimes it is difficult to see the truth of St Paul’s words that all things work together unto the good, in this instance it was plain to see.  Unwittingly, the enemies of the pro-life movement have, in a sense, become our most influential allies.  In just a matter of weeks the Bloomsbury Alliance has injected a new vigour into the pro-life movement in England and provided it with publicity before undreamt of.  A quick internet search for 40 Days for Life brings up reports on this one evening’s event from major news sources.  And an article on The Washington Post website proves it has become internationally newsworthy. 

Unsurprisingly, much of what has been written in the media is dishonest and heavily biased in favour of the pro-abortion crowd, but that, in itself, is encouraging.  The fact that there has been so much opposition to 40 Days, and the media coverage has been so unfair, just goes to show the pro-life movement can no longer be ignored as I’m sure it’s enemies would prefer.  They must be frightened to risk giving it so much publicity.

The media may be painting a dishonest picture but those who were at the scene will not be so easily conned.  What might an impartial observer have made of it all?  No doubt there were many onlookers unaffiliated to either side.  It is hard to believe that anyone could have watched the proceedings with an unprejudiced eye without being impressed by the demeanour of the pro-lifers and appalled by the conduct of the pro-abortionists.  I also find it hard to believe that similar sentiments didn’t pass through the minds of one or two of the Pro-aborts themselves.

In any group of people who unite for a common purpose, there are different degrees of commitment to the cause among the members and there were certainly some among the pro-abortionists who seemed less vociferous and less inflamed than others.  Surely some of these people who had turned out after hearing the tales of wild-eyed religious fundamentalists hissing threats of damnation at poor distressed young women must have wondered about the truth of these claims.  These Catholics, barely audible over the din caused by the counter-demonstration, serene, cheerful, (except for a few moved to quiet tears), and, despite the scorn hurled at them and all they hold dear, unprovoked to anger, are supposedly the women-terrorisers of liberal horror stories?  Might it have occurred to them that if someone was of a sufficiently fragile and nervous disposition to be intimidated by this crowd, they probably aren’t the type to leave their home at all in the first place?

It would be unrealistic to think that these sentiments were common, but amongst one or two?  Very possibly.  The pro-lifers were offering their prayers for these people and that is more than reasonable grounds for hope.

(Update: I’ve just seen the Bloomsbury Alliance website has an apology for their conduct at the protest mentioned above in the quoted email.  The comments make interesting reading and prove that their own actions have only served to discourage people from joining their campaign.  See here: http://bloomsburypca.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/sunday-5-lets-get-the-bad-parts-out-of-the-way/).

Perhaps the most obvious good that came out of it was the rejuvenation of the pro-life movement.  Who, in recent times, has seen 500+ people at a pro-life prayer vigil?  Many attendees had not made the effort for a long time.  If anyone were discouraged by the many past hours they had spent involved in these activities with seemingly little success, they are surely now revitalised to see what an impact this one campaign has had.  There was a definite buzz around as the crowds dispersed from the vigil and many vowed to make more effort and attend such things more often in the future.

For these things we must give our thanks and congratulations to 40 Days for Life.  But let us also not forget to thank and congratulate our friends over at the Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance: you’ve been so very helpful.

Friday, 17 February 2012

I & A protests against abortion advertising



At noon on Saturday 11th February 2012, the British Committee of Advertising Practice, the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Advertising Standards Agency in High Holborn were hit by a protest. This protest was against what these organisations had decided was acceptable to advertise over mass media to the British public – on 21st January it had been decided that private abortion providers would be allowed to advertise their terrible services to all people, this an inevitable result of the legalisation of abortion which occurred forty-five years earlier.

We began by unfurling a banner which had been made for the event; “No to Abortion Advertising!” it proclaimed. It was thought that, as people all too easily ignore those holding rosaries alone that a more visible sign to tell passers-by what was being demonstrated against would be useful. Indeed it was – from the moment the banner was set up, people on the other side of the road would stop, turn their heads, even take photographs; cars would slow down and do the same and as such it’s to believed that a lot of people were alerted to the mostly unknown fact that, come the 30th April, abortion shall be on the airwaves.

The rosary was the best place to go from there, so the Joyful Mysteries were said with more people joining us throughout - the building had not been easy to find, and most of the tube lines were down or heavily delayed, but through the course of the two-hour vigil, just under a dozen people turned up. After which the ladies present decided that it would be helpful to sing, so we sang the Ave Maris Stella and a few other hymns. We continued through the Sorrowful Mysteries, most appropriate to something which causes as much suffering as abortion, singing the last decade and the Salve – something which we repeated on the last mystery of the Glorious Mysteries as well. There were gaps in between these rosaries for a theremos-flask of tea, general chatter and interaction with the public. It should be noted that singing hymns, while giving praises to God, most certainly also gained the attention of the public – God willing the dulcet tones of the ladies present disposed people favourably to the message we put forward, it certainly seemed that way.

After we had run out of Mysteries, we said some litanies, including the Litany of the Sacred Heart in reparation for the offence of abortion against It. Then, with ten minutes to go, we decided to sing another decade of the Rosary for good luck – choosing the third Joyful Mystery, celebrating the perfect birth of Our Divine Saviour.

All in all, it was a very successful vigil and demonstration, against what is a terrible evil to allow. However, we should not stop satisfied here, rather it is essential that all those who read this write to their MPs asking them to pressure for these advertisements to be blocked. Pray too, because the remedy to this evil brought about Satan is the grace given through prayer by God.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Q & A on Abortion adverts

The government should use its powers to stop TV advertising by commercial abortion centres. The question-and-answer briefing below will give you the information you need to help make this happen.

Q: What has happened?
A: This week the two bodies which draft the advertising code of practice made changes to allow   "commercial  post-conception  advice services” - in reality, abortion clinics which earn income from performing abortions - to advertise on television and radio, in print and elsewhere. Pro-abortion organisations have welcomed the change; pro-life groups, some columnists and many ordinary people have objected to it. The
change will come into effect on 30 April.

Q: Who exactly has made this decision?
A: Two committees, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of  Advertising  Practice  (CA P ) . These  are committees of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Q: Will abortion centres have to say that they perform abortion or have a financial interest in abortion?
A: No. BCAP considered such a requirement but rejected the need for it.

Q: If pro-life organisations are allowed to advertise, whatʼs wrong  with allowing abortion centres to advertise?
A: Commercial abortion providers can afford broadcast advertising; whereas groups which provide objective information about abortion and its impact on women's health will be unlikely to afford to advertise. Most pro-life advice services charge nothing. Abortionists can just add the costs of advertising into their charges. Thus there will be a disproportionate opportunity for abortion providers to advance their cause. CAP have said
that any organisation giving post-conception pregnancy advice must first provide “suitable credentials” before being allowed to advertise. There is a real danger that the credentials of prolife organisations will not be regarded as “suitable” because they refuse to offer abortion or refer women for abortion.

Q: Whatʼs wrong with abortion centres being allowed to promote what they have to offer?
A: Abortion centres mislead women, by telling them that their unborn babies are just 'products of   'conception', and that abortion is not killing but simply ending a pregnancy. Allowing commercial abortion centres to advertise on television immediately treats abortion as if it was a service or a desirable product.

Q: What should we think about the ASA, BCAP and CAP in the light of this decision?
A: The advertising industry is displaying a bias to support   the abort ion operators,  who  have ideological and commercial interests in promoting abortion. The ASA already demonstrated a bias against pro-life groups when it attempted to ban advertisements which stated correctly that morning-after pills may cause early abortions. As an industry-based group, it is free to reflect the views of the broadcasters and publishers who
want lucrative advertising deals. It is a great shame that it has not acted more impartially.

Q: What should happen now?
A: Jeremy Hunt MP, the cabinet minister with responsibility for media, is reportedly “very unhappy” about the decision but apparently lacks the resolve to act. However, Ed Vaizey MP, his deputy, told Parliament on 2 June 2010 that Mr Hunt has the power to order Ofcom, the statutory regulator, to order TV and radio stations not to broadcast certain advertisements. In contrast, ASA, BCAP and CAP are not statutory bodies.
They are not answerable democratically or judicially to anyone, nor do they have power to impose any penalties or hold anyone to account. MPs should remind Mr Hunt of his powers in relation to Ofcom, and urge him to use those powers to rein-in ASA, BCAP and CAP, which have acted irresponsibly.

Q: To whom should I write?
A: Please write to your Member of Parliament (MP), asking him/her to write to Mr Hunt on your
behalf, reminding Mr Hunt of his powers in relation to Ofcom, and urging Mr Hunt to use those powers to block all advertisements by abortion centres. You can write to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. If youʼre not sure of your  MPʼs name,   please  visit   h t t p : / /www.spuc.org.uk/mps (where you can also send an electronic message to your MP). Please copy or forward any replies you receive from MPs to SPUCʼs political department, either at SPUC HQ or by email to political@spuc.org.uk

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

I & A statement on TV and radio adverts for abortion providers

Integrity and Action notes with dismay the decision to allow profit making abortion groups to advertise on television and radio in Britain.

As abortion is legal in Great Britain the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice have ruled that there is no reason private clinics which provide abortions should be banned from advertising their services in all media.

The promotion of abortion and associated services continues to be widely promoted in Britain, notably over Christmas and New Year 2011/12 the British Pregnancy Advisory Service gave out free morning after pills to women, after only a brief telephone consultation.

Mark Bhagwandin, from the pro-life charity Life, stated: “Whatever one's opinion of abortion, the fact is that it ends the life of an existing human individual and we ought therefore to resist any measure that tends to trivialize it, or to make it appear as inconsequential as other consumer choices. To allow private abortion clinics, for whom abortions are part of their core business, to advertise on television alongside normal businesses such as carmakers and insurance companies is very likely to have this effect.”

Integrity and Action would strongly encourage readers to write and complain to the Secretary of State for Media, Jeremy Hunt, and to their own MP and in the future to consider boycotting those TV channels and Radio stations which allow abortion providers to advertise.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Further reason to boycott Tesco's.

Nick Lansley, Tesco’s head of research and development, said he was actively taking a stand “against evil Christians” who opposed the right of same-sex couples to marry.
In a message on his profile page on Flickr.com, he said: “I’m…campaigning against evil Christians (that’s not all Christians, just bad ones) who think that gay people should not lead happy lives and get married to their same-sex partners.”
The remarks, which have now been removed from the photo sharing website, caused outrage among Christian groups, who said they would refuse to shop in the chain’s stores in protest.
Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said: “I won’t be shopping at Tesco this Christmas, and I am repeatedly hearing from other Christians who have already come to the same conclusion.
“Mr Lansley is entitled to his opinions, and Christians are entitled to choose not to shop at Tesco.”
The row comes a month after Tesco provoked controversy by reducing its support for the charity Cancer Research’s Race for Life while deciding to sponsor Pride London, Britain’s largest gay festival.
A Tesco spokesman said: "Mr Lansley’s comments, made in a personal capacity in 2008, in no way reflect the views of Tesco.
"Our values as a company are such that we abhor criticism of any religion, and we knew nothing about Mr Lansley’s comments until they were brought to our attention.
"We are very sorry that anyone might have thought that there was any blurring of the boundary between his personal comments and his work for Tesco. We have therefore asked him to remove the comments, and he has done so. "
A study last month showed that only six places of worship out of more than 40,000 across the country want to host civil partnership ceremonies.
The Government Equalities Office’s consultation on the plan to allow same–sex unions on religious premises in England and Wales from next month, found that as many as 532 faith groups would "opt–in" to allow the events on their premises.
However, congregations of just four small churches and two Quaker groups said they would definitely consider "applying for approval of their religious premises for the registration of civil partnerships".
Most of the country's 46,155 places of worship where marriages may be solemnised opposed the plan, saying they believed it would blur the line between marriage and civil partnership.
They also feared it could lead to challenges under the Equality Act or human rights legislation from homosexual couples who want to be "married" in church.
The Government admits the response risks "a significant proportion of the demand not being met". It predicted as many as 1,593 same–sex couples could want to hold their ceremonies in church each year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8965869/Religious-groups-boycott-Tesco-over-senior-executives-evil-Christians-comment.html

Friday, 23 December 2011

BPAS picket - 19th December 2011


Here are a few pictures of the good souls and supporters of I & A who picketed the BPAS headquarters on 19th December in response to their vile campaign of pushing the morning after pill. They believe that they have even saved a life as one lady went in to the buidling, but came out again shortly afterwards saying that she will keep her baby. A full report will follow.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Christ our King

On Maundy Thursday, 21st April 2011 two versions of a national press advertisement for Phones 4 U Ltd featured a cartoon-like graphical illustration of Our Lord grinning broadly and winking, pointing a finger with one hand and displaying a thumbs-up sign with the other. The Sacred Heart was featured on his chest. The headline text stated "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy AndroidTM phones". Clearly this was blasphemous and published during Holy Week intentionally. 

A supporter of Integrity and Action alerted as many other supporters as possible to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. Of the 98 complaints, at least a quarter of these were received from I & A supporters. A ruling has now been made in our favour against this vile advertisement. Phones 4 U Ltd have now had to concede that this advert will not be run again in the same or similar form.
Long live Christ the King.