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8-JOHN-DEIGHAN-SPUC-SCOTLAN

New SPUC Scotland chief executive outlines his vision

John Deighan highlights that “The exact words of the European Convention of Human Rights which states: ‘Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.”

Joining SPUC has been an exciting change, but an area that will also have much overlap with the work I have done within the world of politics as parliamentary officer with the Scottish Bishops’ Conference for the last 16 years.
There are many initiatives to work on within the network of SPUC supporters and the many people who share our aims. The pro-life chain in Edinburgh took place in the week when I started and it was an excellent opportunity to meet so many of the pro-life activists. It gave me the chance to speak to them of the challenges we have to face in overcoming the scourge of abortion and the many terrible consequences it has given.
Identifying the legal basis of the right to life is an essential step if we are to turn around abortion laws. Human rights laws have been increasingly important throughout Europe, but the distorted emphasis given to them by some means that most can lose sight of what exactly comprises these rights. For that reason this year we used placards on the pro-life chain, which used the exact words of the European Convention of Human Rights that states: “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.”
Our human rights documents were created in the aftermath of terrible atrocities of the Second World War. They were created with very good reason and they exist as a foundation for a civilised society. In my address to pro-life supporters I was eager to emphasise this foundational values of human rights that are accessible to all people by the light of reason.
However, we do face a determined group of people who want to justify and promote abortion. They have managed to shape our laws, but as we have seen recently political systems can change dramatically in a short period of time. That is why we need to build on our work to inform those who have not yet been drawn in to the web of lies and destruction which support abortion and to help those who need healing from their encounter with it for whatever reason. This will be an endeavour that will rely on the unity and commitment of the various strands of the pro-life movement and all those who genuinely believe in human rights.
The propaganda of the abortion industry has succeeded for a considerable time, but as we near the half century of this enormous lie its time is coming to an end. Today, I pledge the work of SPUC in bringing the truth in to the light. We will build on our work to inform those who have not yet been drawn in to the web of lies and destruction which support abortion and to help those who need healing from their encounter with it for whatever reason. This will be an endeavour that will rely on the unity and commitment of the various strands of the pro-life movement and I commit myself in the role—that I have only just begun—to work with the outstanding witnesses for life found associated with SPUC and the other pro-life organisations, which are in fact the most consistent of the human rights movements. It is the human right movement that is willing to stand against the pre-conceptions, prejudices and self-interests of our age that are willing to abandon the rights of the weakest members of our society.
Our future success will depend on nurturing a network of communities who respect life. The Catholic community has been resolute in doing this and others from different backgrounds share that deep appreciation of the gift of life. In my early days with SPUC I have already had messages of support from many different elements of Scottish society. The Muslim community has been very open to hearing of the work of SPUC and the incoming moderator of the Free Church of Scotland was emphatic about his shared vision when he spoke about the tragedy of abortion and said: “To those who regard the baby as an ‘it,’ a blob, a mere collection of chemicals, [the scale of abortion] is not a problem. To those of us who know the
Biblical and the scientific position that the ‘it’ is a ‘she’ or ‘he,’ it is a tragedy of apocalyptic proportions; which is why as Free Church Moderator I want to praise the work of The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and assure you of our 100 per cent support.”

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