A pro-life group is appealing to churches across Britain to toll their bells to mark the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act.
The Pro-Life Alliance wants bells to be rung – 50 times if possible – on Sunday October 29 to commemorate eight million lives lost through abortion. It has also called for prayers of reparation in services across the country.
Its appeal is backed by Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative MP and minister, who said in a video that Britain’s conscience had been “deadened” in the 50 years since the Act.
She said those who voted for the Act in 1967 would have been “absolutely horrified” at what the law had resulted in. “Parliament was assured that it wasn’t going to lead to abortion on demand, that it was only going to alleviate misery in a few very serious cases”, she said.
“There were all these safeguards. You needed two doctors, you needed the risk of continuing the pregnancy to be too great. You needed all manner of requirements in order to get an abortion. But it hasn’t turned out like that at all.”
More than eight million unborn children had been taken from the womb since then, she said. “That’s the equivalent of the population of London,” she said. “This wasn’t foreseen. Gradually the nation’s conscience has been deadened.”
Her hope, she said, was that advances in photographic science would, by showing the child in the womb, lead people to recognise the rights of the unborn.
Among the churches taking part is All Saints, Maidstone, a 14th-century Anglican church with a circle of 10 bells.