ABORTION FACILITY IN LEAMINGTON SPA CLOSES - WHAT HAPPENED THERE?
Last week I heard the fantastic news that BPAS abortion facility in Leamington Spa had closed. This is music to pro-lifers' ears.
I'm so glad that abortions won't be performed there any more and I give thanks to the small but dedicated 40 Days for Life team who have faithfully run 7 campaigns outside this building despite receiving very little support.
It's not clear why this facility closed (let's pray it doesn't re-open again as Marie Stopes!). Some say the contract wasn't renewed and staff were made redundant but there seems no obvious explanation why . . . . Prayer maybe? Sadly though I doubt it was from lack of 'clients' as even recent feedback posted on the website from women who've had abortions there repeatedly talk about how they felt they were part of a 'conveyer belt' indicating that business was no problem.
Further comments show that perhaps quantity championed over 'quality'
'I was sent home after 15-20 mins when you are supposed to stay for 2hrs . . . . I had to have the termination re-performed because they hadn't got it all out'.
And even those who gave their experience a 5 star rating appear to have felt rushed as they describe things seeming 'like a meat market, everyone's on a conveyer belt & they can't wait to get you in or out' and from another 'I think more help is needed with regards aftercare/counselling etc all the staff seem to think you will be fine but not always the case'.
This all brings back some rather sad memories for me because a few years ago I was inside this abortion clinic, not seeking an abortion but undercover to try and experience something of what goes on there. Here's what I learnt from that day:
Firstly I learnt how easy it is to book an appointment. You don't need to see a GP first as many think, I simply phoned up, gave my personal details, was asked what stage of the pregnancy I was at and a consultation was booked.
When I arrived I filled out a health questionairre, was asked why I wanted an abortion and was it my choice? I was weighed and my height was measured (still not sure why) and that was it. Obviously they intended to test I was pregnant but there were no other questions. Even a reasonably seasoned pro-lifer like myself was surprised at the lack of counselling or should I say 'at its absence'.
In the waiting room there was a TV blaring out distracting programmes. I presumed this helped prevent women from having reflective thinking time. I was shocked at how busy it was. I can't think of a suitable word to describe the atmosphere, all I can say is that it made me feel depressed and I had to get out. As I left I walked down the long drive of this facility, there seemed to be a lot of women/girls just standing around or sitting on the ground looking empty and hopeless. Whether they were waiting for taxis or just trying to come to terms with things I don't know but there was something haunting about it. I regularly counsel women outside abortion clinics but on this day I honestly felt I just needed to get away, as though the evil of what went on here was trying to cling to me.
ANSWER TO PRAYER
Maybe we shouldn't over analyse why this place has now closed but just thank God for answering our prayers. Yes, prayer, fasting and public witness are a formidable trio that really do work. Hence the fact that women keep changing their minds right on the doorsteps (or even the operating tables) of these death camps and one by one by one they keep on closing.
So imagine what effect a huge public witness can have where we offer prayers together and unite in the centre of one of our most prominent cities, the one where BPAS first started its ugly work. Imagine no longer - come to March for Life UK on Sat 14th May and be part of the change.
PROTESTERS ON THE DAY
There are Masses in the morning at 9.30am (at B'ham Oratory) & 10am (at St Chad's Cathedral) so we can bathe our efforts in prayer. Then in the city centre we will be having a busy pro-life festival with various pro-life market stalls including our own brand of pro-life merchandise which has never been sold before, the Mercy Bus, a new pro-life exhibit, food, face-painting, the list goes on.
We have heard of a pro-abortion group who are creating a protest on the day to the March for Life UK remember three bishops will be with us, let's ensure they get some real support, don't underestimate the pressures on them to shy away from public witness especially when protesters are present - they're going to need your encouragement and prayer.
We will be having great talks from Ryan Bomberger and Stephanie Gray. Of course from Victoria Square we start our victory parade of life triumphing over death - it seems the square has been named victorious for us.
Even now you can be helping by encouraging friends, family and fellow parishioners to keep the day free. You could help us spread the word on social media - start by sharing this blog, 'like' our facebook page, connect with us on twitter.
Unity is part of God's nature so let's become more like Him and join together. We must believe we can defeat abortion - remember 2 Chronicles 'Do not fear or be dismayed of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's'.