By Dave Andrusko
Even a national rail strike couldn’t derail last weekend’s March for Life held in London. Organizers said that
Police estimated that 7,000 pro-life attendees of all ages, including a large contingent of youth, filled Parliament Square on Saturday to show their support for the 2023 theme of the event ‘Freedom to Live’. A growing number of abortion supporters, comprising various groups, were also present in a counter protest but it seemed like nothing could dampen the spirits of the March for Life crowd as they sang, danced and prayed their way along the streets.
The annual march processed through the city of Westminster in London and ended at the Houses of Parliament.
Religious leaders from different denominations participated in the rally, according to Joe Bukuras, “including those from the Catholic Church. Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster John Sherrington, Bishop Richard Moth of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, Bishop John Keenan of the Diocese of Paisley in Scotland, and the ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham Monsignor Keith Newton were in attendance.”
“With a theme ‘Freedom to Live,’ the human rights demonstration was codirected by Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, who was arrested in December 2022 for praying outside a Birmingham abortion clinic,” Bukuras reported for the Catholic News Agency.
“The annual public witness, now in its ninth year, processed in a lively manner through Westminster before stopping for the keynote speeches,” March for Life reported. “Speakers included Lois McClatchie-Miller from ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) who told the crowd ‘The apparently ‘empowering’ mantra of ‘my body, my choice’ has led to a deficit of male responsibility, allowing men to shrug and say ‘your body, your choice, your problem’. Whilst Scott Klusendorf, president of The Life Training Institute urged attendees to enter into conversations with those around them on abortion but reminded them ‘We need to have the confidence to make our case persuasively‘.”
Also well attended was the morning indoor pro-life festival at The Emmanuel Centre. “This consisted of sessions for children of all ages, stalls from various pro-life organisations and a training session for a new outreach project named ‘Engage’ which was described by one of the participants, Theo, as ‘A way of connecting with the public on this key topic and starting a respectful conversation in a meaningful and productive way,’” according to March for Life.
Planners were already looking ahead to the 10th annual March for Life UK. “Codirector of the march Ben Thatcher said at the event that his hope is for the march to reach 10,000 attendees.”