The perfect is the enemy of the good, it is said. So in a perfect world there would be many multiples of the 5,000 people who turned out for the March for Life in London last weekend; every parish would send coachloads of delegates; but it would be wrong to imply that the March did not already represent a powerful achievement or to give the impression that it was anything other than profoundly inspiring and energising.
Those few thousand can still be the fulcrum on which the weight of opposition or apathy can be moved.
The March was preceded by a morning of workshops and talks about the pro-life message and how to promote it. These took place in the peaceful enclave behind Westminster Abbey in Church House, a sort of Anglican equivalent of the Vatican, and in the Emmanuel Centre nearby.
I spent the morning hearing confessions in a large panelled room near to where the Church of England’s General Synod meets. It had high windows which looked over Westminster School, through which I was able to keep an eye on the vicissitudes of the weather: blue skies being chased by showers. A proper English May, one minute warm and gentle, the next hailing and cold.
The march later formed up in Great Smith Street, heading past Smith Square, along Milbank and ending up with a gathering in Parliament Square opposite the Mother of Parliaments – where in 1967 the Abortion Act meant a child in the womb was no longer protected by its mother, but legally at risk of harm from her.
Lest anyone doubt that this is so, we passed a small group of pro-abortion activists who sought to drown us out by screaming their slogans. Among them was a man carrying a placard bearing the legend, “No womb, no opinion”. It demonstrated how reason itself must be defied to justify this “enlightened” insistence on abortion as a right.
This man’s protest was a good example of irrationality. If you do not have a womb you cannot have an opinion on the morality of abortion, says a man demonstrating in favour of abortion, heckling a rally comprising perhaps 75 per cent women.
Because a woman owns her body, a man is not even permitted an opinion on how she exercises her biological functions? I wonder how many feminists would agree to the opposite proposal?
The same secular morality that denies anyone without a womb an opinion on abortion would affirm a man’s right to be treated as a woman, even though he doesn’t have a womb. A man’s opinion can make him a woman, but until he decides that this is what he is, he can’t possibly have any relevant empathy for a woman’s experience.
A picture of the man with his slogan was posted on social media by the Mayor of London to indicate his support for a “woman’s right to choose”. He is obviously another man seemingly ignorant of the principle of non-contradiction, that the same thing can’t simultaneously be true and false.
By the same logic, the mayor should discount the opinion of any climate change protesters who live on high ground, since rising sea levels do not directly threaten them.