Scots to rally for life this Lent
Publication Date: 2017-02-03
Prayer vigils to be held outside four hospitals that conduct abortions in Scotland
Pro-life prayer vigils are to take place throughout Lent outside four Scottish hospitals that conduct abortions.
40 Days for Life vigils will take place in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, following on from last year’s vigil at the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow.
The Glasgow 40 Days for Life event, the first of its kind in Scotland, will be repeated this Lent and has inspired similar vigils outside the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
The Scottish activists will be joining prayerful, peaceful protests at hundreds of locations all over the world.
Patricia Maclennan, who is the campaign leader in Edinburgh, said she had been inspired to get involved after hearing a talk from Rose Docherty, the organiser of 40 Days for Life in Glasgow.
“I never knew about a lot of things she was talking about,” she said. “It really woke me up. And since I live in Edinburgh I thought perhaps I could do something. I did think this will be a lot of work—sometimes you just feel called to do something by God.”
She said she hopes the vigil in Edinburgh will ‘raise awareness of issues surrounding abortion, change people’s hearts and perhaps save lives.’
“People feel pressured by doctors, the baby’s father, employers,” she said. “They feel that they have to live the life everyone is expecting them to. By praying we offer some courage to them and show some encouragement to them.”
She said there had been significant interest is supporting the vigil in Edinburgh.
Rose Doherty, who is again organising the Glasgow vigil this year said it was part of a worldwide movement.
“All over the western world-—Scotland included—more and more individuals are realising that the first casualty of abortion is the truth,” she said. “The lie of abortion damages everyone, because abortion is never the best option either for pregnant mothers or unborn children.”
She said 40 Days for Life is ‘so important’—’it is not a demonstration but a peaceful, prayerful and public pro-life witness, praying for a culture of life.’
“It shows people that there is another way, there is a better way,” she added.
A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said the vigils were ‘a peaceful, yet poignant reminder of this sad reality’ of abortion.
“Almost half a million unborn lives have been lost in Scotland since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed and it continues to carve a deep scar on our society,” the spokesman said. “It is a matter for individual groups to decide how best to draw attention to the fact that we live in a society which does not always protect the sanctity of human life in a civil, legal and peaceful way.”
40 Days for Life is an international group that campaigns against abortion by organising 40-day periods of protests outside of abortion clinics.
It was originally started in 2004 by a local group in Bryan-College Station, Texas, and has since spread to 25 countries worldwide. It is an inter-denominational movement but is endorsed by the Pontifical Academy for Life.
—This story ran in full in the February 3 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.