Officials claim “Inappropriate” display of fetal models reason local pro-life group ousted from community fair

By Dave Andrusko

There are times when the bias against pro-life organizations is so strong that even I am surprised. You’d think by now pretty much nothing would shock me but a decision Sunday to kick the British pro-life group “Life” out of a community fair is utterly amazing.

Under the headline “Lambeth Council stomps on freedom of expression,” Life begins by saying, “Life is seeking legal advice following the authoritarian and discriminatory removal of the charity’s exhibits at the Lambeth Country show yesterday.”

The London Evening Standard, a local newspaper begins its explanation of the ouster this way:

Council officials ordered campaigners Life to leave the Lambeth Country Show yesterday after visitors complained that the stall was inappropriate.

The stand, which a Lambeth council chief claimed “wasn’t officially allowed”, included plastic replicas of unborn babies at various stages of development. An estimated 150,000 people attended the free event, held over the weekend at Brockwell Park.

Life challenged each of those allegations on its webpage. Not only did they say they’d been approved, they added that the pictures they would be used had been seen in advance:

Life applied to the show in January with full disclosure as to who we are as a charity. Following what we can only assume was their due diligence our application was approved in April. We provided the show organisers with information about the stall, pictures of similar exhibits we ran in different locations in London last year and a link to our charity website. Our objectives at the show were to educate people about the awe and wonder of life before birth and to promote our counselling, housing and practical support services to vulnerable women in crisis.

The likely real reason came in a tweet from Ed Davie, Lambeth’s cabinet member for health. Reporters Owen Sheppard, Isobel Frodsham, and Barney David said he was responding to “complaints about the stall”:

“It’s a community festival — that includes women who have had to make really hard family planning decisions who don’t want plastic foetuses in their faces.”

Anne Scanlan, Life’s Director of Education, responded, “Nothing on our stall was offensive.”

There were life-like fetal models and pictures of the unborn baby at different gestational stages which can be seen on any pregnancy website including the NHS. At a time when there is a clamour for free speech and allowing dissenting voices to be heard, we have a local council aggressively shutting down the voice of prolifers trying to reach out to vulnerable women in crisis and educating people about life in the womb. It is now routine and apparently acceptable, for anyone who dares to express any view that is not pro-abortion, to risk coming under vociferous and sustained attack for doing so.

She concluded

Our message at Life is delivered in a compassionate and caring way. Councils which try to shut down and silence prolife organisations like Life must recognise that they are doing a disservice to women in crisis who may need our help.