On Thursday 27th October, the 55th anniversary of the Abortion Act, a group of Catholics gathered in Parliament Square to pray and to remember the lives lost and the women forced into making difficult decisions.
Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues, joined those who were gathered, offering the following reflection:
‘Ten Million Too Many… recognises the tragedy of ten million lives lost by abortion since the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967. Ten million too many. Ten million of our brothers and sisters who did not see birth. Ten million women who chose to have an abortion, often in very difficult circumstances, but who now carry the scar and pain of their choice.
‘Ten Million Too Many… it is hard to grasp this huge number. Ten million faces who could have smiled and shed tears, who could have brought joy and gifts to others. We witness to those ten million lives which we commend to the mercy of the Father for we believe that every life is precious to the Almighty and that he knows each by his or her name and they rejoice in heaven.
‘In Saturday’s paper there was a most moving account of three brothers, one of whom lived with Down’s Syndrome, on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. Manni wrote of his brother Reuben, “We had assumed we were taking Reubs on a pilgrimage but it was becoming apparent that he was taking us on one. We were learning what it was really like to have Down’s syndrome, walking at his pace and experiencing life through his eyes. It was a truly transformational travel experience, and the beginning of my understanding of Reuben’s reality.” Ten million too many including all those persons who would have lived with a disability and taught us about being human.
‘To build a stronger culture of life leads to other necessary changes in society. The many painful situations which lead to abortion are reflected in these shocking statistics and call for better legal and social protections for women and the unborn child. They call for much more reflection on what is needed for relationships and sex education that is rooted in respect and self-restraint, support for the family and single mothers. Today we pray for the building of a culture of life and welcome where all are recognised and treated as a gift. Be courageous…’