10 pro-life reasons to celebrate in 2018!
10 pro-life reasons to celebrate in 2018!
It has undoubtedly been a year of profound sadness for the pro-life movement in Ireland. In the midst of bitter disappointment and heartache following Ireland's emphatic yes to abortion vote, there are still glimmers of hope; albeit at times, hidden and hard to find, they are there. We must remember this. When we remain positive and hopeful, we begin to gain a new perspective. Nothing lasts forever, and although an incomprehensibly unjust law will be rolled out on our shores very soon, abortion will, in time, destroy itself and we will take back the culture and the country we once had. Although so many women and babies will now be at the mercy of a cruel abortion industry knee-deep in allegations of unsafe and unethical practices, there are thousands of babies destined for abortion whose fate WE can change. All it takes is the courage, commitment, and unfailing determination to not give up and not give in to hopelessness.
Since Ireland voted to legalise abortion on the 25th May 2018, the attacks on Northern Ireland's pro-life laws have been steadily mounting. Our laws which safeguard the lives of women and babies have been the object of relentless ridicule and unending vitriol from the abortion lobby, not only here but overseas as well. We have had to withstand attacks from the powerful, anti-life forces at Westminster, threats from Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Abortion Minister Simon Harris, and a flurry of misinformed British 'celebrities' demanding that the democratic process and principles of devolution are thrown aside to cater to their agendas.
In the run-up to the New Year, we have outlined ten amazing pro-life reasons to celebrate in 2018!
1. Precious Life's Schools Campaign gains greater awareness!
It's been a super year on the schools front for Precious Life, with an increased presence for us in secondary and grammar schools throughout Northern Ireland! We've had some glowing reviews from delighted teachers throughout Northern Ireland. These include Mr Maynes, an RE teacher from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt: “I found Precious Life’s ‘Every Life is Precious’ School’s Presentation to be highly informative, engaging and totally comprehensive. It was clear to me as a teacher that as Bernadette Smyth spoke to the students, she was touching the hearts and minds of future generations with the truth of the pro-life message. It was amazing to witness so many young people who were incredibly receptive to the pro-life message – Precious Life’s school’s presentation will both change and save lives. This is a School’s Programme that is educational, inspiring and necessary. Very positive feedback from teachers and pupils!”
Mrs Haughey, a Child Development teacher in Holy Trinity College, Cookstown also sent us a review of Precious Life’s ‘Every Life is Precious’ Schools Programme: “The Precious Life presentation by Bernadette Smyth was very enlightening for our students, many of whom were unaware of the fundamentals of abortion. Bernadette was able to give first-hand accounts of mothers in very difficult circumstances and how they overcame obstacles to continue in their pregnancies. Bernadette's testimonies were further explored by teachers and students in GCSE Child Development and Religious Education classes.
I feel as a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school, it is imperative that our students hear and understand the prolife message. It was wonderful to see so many students listen intently and engage in the Q&A session. I have no doubt that Precious Life's presentation will plant the seeds for change and save more lives. We have had very positive responses from both teachers and pupils.”
2. 300,000 people sign Precious Life petitions calling for Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws to be protected.
On the 17th of October at Stormont, Precious Life sent a strong message to Westminster, Northern Ireland politicians and the international abortion lobby that an incredible 300,000 people in Northern Ireland are emphatically opposed to a change to our pro-life laws. Pro-abortion groups such as Amnesty claimed this autumn that a survey of 1,000 people is representative of changing attitudes to abortion in Northern Ireland, however this figure only represents 0.05% of Northern Ireland’s population and 0.08% of the electorate. In striking contrast, Precious Life can testify that through their on-the-ground work on the streets of Northern Ireland every single day, a stunning 300,000 people have said a resolute no the cruelty of abortion and an emphatic YES to life!
3. Precious Life and Stanton Healthcare save more mothers and babies this year from abortion!
Precious Life, working together with Stanton Healthcare, a pregnancy centre in Belfast, have been able to save more mothers and babies from abortion – something truly incredible to celebrate. Through witnessing outside Belfast’s abortion referral centre close to our offices, we were able to talk to abortion-minded women, offer them real love, support and alternatives; and ultimately help them to choose LIFE for their babies! Our hard-working, dedicated and passionate volunteers were able to refer these women on to Stanton Healthcare Belfast, a centre which provides women with the life-affirming alternatives to abortion. With your help in 2018, we can KEEP saving babies destined for abortion and their mothers.
4. Northern Ireland remains pro-life and proud despite multiple attacks on our pro-life laws
Precious Life, with all of your steadfast support, have been able to keep Northern Ireland pro-life and PROUD – an achievement truly worth celebrating this festive season! Despite being inundated with countless attacks on our pro-life laws, launched by an international abortion lobby fuelled by great wealth and support from the elites, we have managed to withstand these attempts and stand firm underneath the pressure! We have had to deal with stark new threats almost daily from Westminster politicians hell-bent on dismantling democracy, Abortion Minister Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, an abundance of overtly entitled so-called celebrities, all backed up by a powerful media machine totally supportive of an extreme abortion regime in Northern Ireland. Through all this, we have seen the immense power of passionate people in fighting against such injustice – we’ve had incredible help from our supporters, who have worked night and day to promote our new ‘Lobby for Life’ Campaign to ensure that every person in Northern Ireland has their say to ensure abortion is not brought to the North. With your unfailing help, we can keep going in 2018 to ensure that each and every mother and baby in Northern Ireland is safe from abortion!
5. Our new Billboard Campaign gathers momentum in the run-up to the New Year!
Precious Life have commenced 'Phase 1' of our exciting new Billboard campaign in an effort to change hearts and minds across the length and breadth of Northern Ireland. The first mobile billboard conveys the message from the perspective of an unborn baby, "I am a child. Not a choice." Bernadette Smyth, Director of Precious Life, said the billboards, "highlight the true humanity of unborn children, and the fact that our pro-life laws protect every person - born and unborn - regardless of gender, race, disability, circumstances of conception or predicted lifespan."
Our second billboard captures the offensive labels used by the pro-abortion lobby in a vicious attempt to dehumanise unborn babies. These labels include 'incompatible with life', 'no chance of survival', 'fatal fetal abnormality', 'serious handicap', 'conceived through sexual crime' and specific disabilities like 'anencephaly' and 'trisomy 13/18.' Abortion advocates also label babies prenatally diagnosed with Down's syndrome as disposable waste and a burden on society if allowed to be born. Our billboard gives a human face to all these beautiful babies who are discriminated against in the womb.
Much of the media coverage around this issue has sought to deflect from the shocking reality of what legalised abortion means. The pro-abortion lobby in Northern Ireland are constantly denying the humanity of unborn children and the barbarity of abortion. These mobile trucks, which are 'Phase 1' of Precious Life's Billboard Campaign, will be travelling all over the different towns and cities across Northern Ireland during this Christmas season and 'Phase 2' will commence in the New Year with more billboards being rolled out across the North!
6. The All Ireland Rally for Life draws thousands to Stormont Parliament Buildings!
What a day it was! We were delighted with the thousands of people who travelled to Stormont in Belfast on Saturday 7th July for the All Ireland Rally for Life which gave the people of Ireland an opportunity to send out a clear message to politicians that Ireland’s unborn children must continue to be protected in law, and “Our Laws Matter because Every Life Matters.”
The Rally, now in its 12th year, alternates annually between Belfast and Dublin. The Keynote speakers were Bernadette Smyth from Precious Life in Belfast and Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute in Dublin.
The opening speech was given by Assembly Member Jim Wells, who sponsored the event at Stormont. Mr Wells spoke passionately about how he will continue to protect unborn children, stating that it should be most important issue for any politician, as all other issues come second to the right to life. Special Guest Speaker at the Rally was Dr John Littell from USA - author of the book – “The Hidden Truth”. He exposed the deception of abortion as women’s ‘healthcare’. Other speakers include women hurt by abortion and women who have continued with their pregnancies after receiving a diagnosis that their baby would have a life-limiting disability.
Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute roused the crowd with her powerful and poignant words: “This is our land and we will not rest until it is a pro-life light to the world once again. We will rebuild the culture of life in Ireland, we will stand strong, we will walk tall, we will fight on - in the North and the South - a people united together for life – because a child’s life is always worth fighting for.”
Bernadette Smyth concluded the Rally, stating: “To the pro-abortion politicians in Ireland who gloat that ‘The North is Next’ – we say ‘The North Protects’. To the pro-abortion politicians in Westminster we say - stop trying to EXPORT your ‘culture of death’ to Northern Ireland. This Rally for Life has sent out a powerful message to Stormont, Westminster, the Dáil, and indeed to the entire world - that the pro-life people of Ireland, both north and south, will continue to be a voice for unborn children when and wherever their lives are in danger - we remain strong, steadfast and undefeated.”
7. Youth for Life NI celebrate another year on their annual Summer Roadshow!
Our team of dedicated pro-life young people completed another year on their summer roadshow this August! The theme this year was ‘every life matters.’ Over the week, the team travelled to Derry, Letterkenny, Enniskillen, Strabane, Omagh, Coleraine and Belfast receiving an incredibly positive, uplifting response from members of the public of all different backgrounds. Despite the heart-breaking decision in the Republic's abortion referendum, we will continue to keep abortion not only illegal in Northern Ireland but to make it unthinkable.
Lucy, a member of the Youth for Life team on the Roadshow was delighted by the response the outreach team received: "The roadshow gave us such a great platform for reaching so many people of all ages in loads of different locations. It gave us a lot of hope that despite the tragic referendum result in the Republic of Ireland, there is a serious will to keep our pro-life laws in Northern Ireland intact. We have come away from the week with a renewed motivation and drive to continue to defend our laws and save our mothers and babies from abortion."
8. Precious Life’s new Lobby for Life Campaign goes from strength to strength!
Precious Life launched a new Postcard Petition Campaign this August in response to the announcement that Westminster MPs were set to vote on legalising abortion in the province. We are urging people to sign the ‘Lobby for Life’ petition calling on the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to ensure that any legislation regarding abortion in Northern Ireland will be dealt with by the Northern Ireland Assembly only.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where unborn babies are still protected. But Labour MP Diana Johnson with the support of other pro-abortion MPs, intends to introduce a 10-minute rule bill in Westminster to ‘decriminalise’ the killing of unborn babies throughout the UK, with the aim of paving the way for legalising abortion in Northern Ireland.
Our new Postcard Petition calls on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State to ensure that the democratic process in Northern Ireland is respected in Westminster, and ensure that any legislation regarding abortion in Northern Ireland will be dealt with by our Assembly only.
We call on our own MLAs to challenge these abortion-pushing British MPs. The question must be asked: are these MPs only choosing one devolved issue to vote on, or will they vote in Westminster to change other devolved issues next. Our Stormont MLAs must stand against this undermining of the democratic process in Northern Ireland. Either we have devolution or we don’t.
The response we have received to our Lobby for Life Campaign has been overwhelming! People have been delighted to get the opportunity to have their voices heard and a chance to help save our pro-life laws!
9. Youth for Life change hearts and minds with more street outreach!
Youth for Life have been on the streets every Saturday this year in Belfast City Centre, as well as Derry once a month, changing hearts and minds and saving lives! We have been able to talk to thousands of members of the public throughout the year about the reality of abortion and the damaging effects on women, babies and our society. When we expose the reality of abortion and advocate for better resources for women and families, we can help change public opinion, build up a culture of life, and keep Northern Ireland pro-life!
10. Marie Stopes in Belfast remains closed!
It's been over a year since the incredible closure of the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast! A year on, and in the run-up to Christmas, we are so grateful the facility remains CLOSED.
The abortion referral centre closed on 8th December 2017 following five years of steadfast commitment from Precious Life volunteers! 5,000 hours of prayer and fasting closed Marie Stopes! Director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth said at the time of the closure, “We are celebrating this massive pro-life victory. When Marie Stopes opened in Belfast in 2012, Precious Life made a vow to ‘close the door’ on Marie Stopes. For the past 5 years, Precious Life has maintained a pro-life presence outside the office – sacrificing many hours in reaching out to abortion-minded women, thus saving countless lives.”
She added, “Marie Stopes has never been needed - nor wanted in Northern Ireland. In fact, over 70,000 people signed our STOP MARIE STOPES Petition Campaign, which was presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2013. Then the majority of Assembly members voted against private abortion centres like Marie Stopes operating in Northern Ireland.
Bernadette Smyth concluded, “This closure of Marie Stopes Belfast is all down to the dedication, commitment, and hard work of Precious Life volunteers. We will now accelerate our efforts in helping women with unplanned pregnancies, liaising with agencies like Stanton Healthcare NI - because women and babies deserve better than Marie Stopes.”
Thanks to the tireless work of so many pro-life heroes, women and babies in Northern Ireland remain safe from abortion. Thanks to you, we can KEEP working to make sure the corrupt and cruel abortion industry stays out of the North.