Dundee Ethics Politics Scotland

Building a Pro-Life Scotland

It was my joy and privilege to spend last Saturday afternoon at St Ninians Roman Catholic Centre, speaking a conference organised by the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child.  I say this with shame but it is sad that the pro-life cause is so often identified almost solely with Roman Catholics.  I honour them for that, but where are the Free Church, the Baptists, Charismatics and others?  In theory we all agree it is a bad idea to kill the baby in the womb, but in practice we far too often do too little about it.  And the Church of Scotland is a total disgrace on this issue – once again having caved into the ‘anti-life’ agendas of the secular humanists.  I believe that we need to repent of this and to work with our Catholic brothers and sisters to protect human life.

The conference itself was crowded, and I think went well.   The following are some notes of my somewhat lengthy talk!  (please note that these are notes and not the whole talk).

SPUC – Dundee – 27th Feb 201

Building a Pro-Life Scotland

  • Protect – The Unborn child –  I gave several examples of individuals who had had abortions and the harm and effect it had had upon them.

How do we prevent abortions?   That is the key question.   How do we build a pro-life Scotland.

  • Protest

The question is how we do this? Picketing abortion clinics is not the best way.  But we must use politicians, the media and the education system to protest against this unjust and immoral killing.

  • Persuade

The best way to persuade is to provide information. Organisations like CARE are very helpful in this.  I gave examples of people and organisations who have been persuaded to change their minds – for example Sarah Winter, the ultra feminist founder of Brazil Femen.

We should use drama, music and poetry.   For example the Motherwell Express play.  Although it would be interesting to see if the BBC and others would allow a pro-life storyline.

We need to debate.  Key issues like the mantra its a womans body.  Indeed it is, but it is not solely a womans body.  There is at least one other body involved as well.   Abortion should be a feminist issue- Men use abortion as contraceptives as well. More female children are aborted.

We need to focus on the main issues and not be sidetracked by the extreme cases.  99% of abortions are not for rape and handicap.

Use the media – traditional and social – I then gave examples of how we could engage with the media.

Point out inconsistencies  – for example the Named Persons Act indicates that their role will start before the child is born, is this not a de facto recognition that there is a child in the womb? If it is only children who have a named person and the child in the womb is to have one in the last trimester, then surely that is a state recognition that there actually is a child in the womb?

  • Pro-Choice

We need to use the pro-choice argument and turn it on its head. Do those who are pro-abortion support the right of children to be given adequate education about what abortion actually is? To be told it is equivalent to the removal of a wart is at best gross ignorance, at worst wilful deception. I suspect if most people saw the Planned Parenthood videos where abortionists discuss the dismembering of a babies body and selling on the parts, there would be a dramatic reduction in the number of abortionsGive people the choice. To make a choice you need information. Let them see a video of an abortion. Why can the BBC show euthanasia but not abortion?

  • Politics

Devolving abortion.  This is both an opportunity and a threat.  There are people ignorant and evil enough to want to have abortion on demand up to birth. Some even want post natal abortion – ie. infanticide.  We need to be on our guard.

Challenge – There is a fascinating post over on the SS FB page headlined “ISIS orders killing of children with Down’s Syndrome in latest sickening attack on the innocent” – which has the comment “when you think they can go no lower”. I’m sure most people can work out the illogicality of this justified outrage. SS encourage the idea that it is ok to kill a child with Down’s Syndrome – as long as they are in the womb. In fact they have been conducting a wee witchhunt against a prospective SNP MSP precisely because she opposes abortion against such children. It is indeed ‘a sickening attack on the innocent’.

For most politicians this is a political rather than a moral issue.

This is a progressive issue – abortion is regressive – we need to keep repeating this.  Abortion is not ‘progressive’, it is regressive.  A return to pre-Christian Greco/Roman/Pagan World.

I then read the following piece of satire:

In a radical overhaul of the welfare system, David Cameron has set out plans for a measured policy of infanticide that could massively reduce the UK deficit, according to experts.

The proposed scheme, which will initially target northern cities with a high proportion of working class people, would bring an abrupt end to the ‘culture of entitlement’ to a child.

The elimination of poor northern children under the age of two, if successful, could eventually be extended to less impoverished kids in London and the South East who bath on weekdays and have never used an outside toilet.

In modern Scotland it is deemed to be a ‘progressive’ liberal secular humanist value to be able to kill the child in the womb. For me this is not progression, but rather a regression to the dark days of the Greco/Roman/Pagan world, where infanticide and baby killing was the norm. What can we do to stop this slaughter? We can proclaim the sanctity of all human life; we can seek to help those who are so desperate (or so indoctrinated) that they are prepared to kill their own child; and we can work and pray together to ensure the survival and thriving of as many children as possible. And who knows, but that in some date in the future, people will look back in astonishment that people in the 21st Century were so unenlightened that we were prepared to tolerate such barbarism. May God bless you in your work,

  • Provide

Alternatives.  We must recognise that there are women for whom having and keeping a baby is going to be very difficult.  We need to provide support, love and encouragement – as well as practical help.

Education –


Social Justice

Proper Sex education – sex education is important but it should not be restricted to the immorality of Stonewall or the liberal elites who follow the recreational ‘sex as appetite’ philosophy.  We need to educate children in the sacredness of sex, not the recreational ‘everyone is doing it’ or the ‘dirty’ approach.
A Different world view – Solas magazine – Gk Chesterton…..

  • Prayer

Not all anti-abortionists are religious. But all Christians should be anti-abortion because we are followers of Christ who told us to bring the little children to him, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, that we are all equal in the eyes of God….and that we have a special duty to protect the weak and vulnerable.

We need to unite as Christians. We need to pray together. And work together.   We need to be pro-life wherever we go and who ever we are with.

Conclusion:   Today we look with horror at how ‘civilised’ society could acquiesce in and support the evil of slavery. In the future I believe we will look back with horror at the way that society, despite our increased scientific knowledge about the status of the child in the womb, has acquiesced in the evil of abortion.





  1. I have worked full time for SPUC the last 21 years. I am an Evangelical & attend New Prestwick Baptist Church.
    Peter Smith
    SPUC Evangelicals

  2. Way back in November 2003, rebel Roman Catholic priests were brought into public prominence by a newspaper report based on their covert support of artificial contraception – apparently they had been advising parishioners that the use of condoms etc. is permissible. Nothing very newsworthy in that, you might conclude – except that the report of the priests’ religious misdemeanours served, at that time, to reiterate and highlight the late Pope John Paul’s view that all forms of artificial contraception are “intrinsically evil”.
    God, through the late Pope John Paul’s prominent and consistent proclamation that all forms of artificial contraception are “intrinsically evil”, had secured, from the Pope’s own mouth, his agreement that he, and the religious system which he led and which he promoted is – “intrinsically evil”.
    “Intrinsically evil” – because the Roman Catholic Church, rather than encouraging a sinner into a direct personal and eternal life giving relationship with Jesus Christ – acts as a spiritual contraceptive and traps that seeking soul in the gossamer membrane of its false gospel, religious rites, godless hierarchy – and apocryphal traditions.
    As far as the fulfilment of the eternal life expectancy of any mortal is concerned, the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is diametrically opposed to God’s teaching. God’s gospel and the Roman Catholic gospel, as Luther and the other Roman Catholic reformers of the 16th century discovered, are in direct spiritual contention.
    And, if an impartial enquirer was bold enough to presume that God is the absolute authority on the conception of any mortal’s eternal life, then that enquirer must conclude that the Roman Catholic religion, in working in direct opposition to the eternal life giving processes which God has prescribed in the Holy Bible, has been guilty of perpetrating mass spiritual contraception – and to a degree that defies human measure.
    If Christ, and not the Vatican, is the ultimate authority on all eternal matters, then – to repeat, the Pope, in condemning all forms of artificial contraception as “intrinsically evil” has, out of his own mouth, condemned the religious institution which he led and served as “intrinsically evil” .

    1. Jack – what a strange post! What does this have to do with abortion? Do you really have to vent your anti-Catholic hatred every time the church is mentioned – even when it is right?

      1. Anti Catholic hatred?
        I do not hate Roman Catholics – I hate Roman Catholicism – there is a big difference.
        Some of my closest ‘worldly’ friends are RC
        As Jude directed the elect to contend for the faith – so I do – Jude 3
        As Paul directed Timothy to continue in true doctrine (1 Tim 4/16) – so I attempt to do so, and in so doing I oppose any false doctrine which dresses itself up as truth and attempts to supplant true biblical doctrine…….
        Paul states categorically that there is only one gospel and curses those who would proclaim and promote a different gospel Galatians 1/6-10.
        Roman Catholicism has introduced, promoted, modified and adapted its own gospel for 1700 years with the express purpose of controlling and exploiting the masses……………..
        And along you come David – presenting yourself as a Bible believing protestant and identify RC apologists and an ex Pope Benedict as your brothers in Christ – what a confusing ecumenical mixture of truth and error.

  3. I hear echoes of Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones with your comment about the CofS. In 1966 the issue was ecumencalism with Lloyd-Jones objecting to the then archbishop of Canterbury wanting the church to unite with the pope as head. How things have changed with what you say about uniting with the Catholic church. What about where there are doctrinal issues, transubtstantiation, praying to Mary etc?

    It’s refreshing to read of an evangelical approach that is inclusive to the catholic church. It’s a shame that the same grace is not being extended to the CofS. Just as John Stott argued against Lloyd-Jones in 1966 it seems that evangelicals are split over adherence to a “beloved denomination” or adversity to the same denomination, doing what Lloyd Jones called “sinful”.

    It’s easy to blame, but even if blame can be apportioned it can only comment on what a problem is, not address it.

    Perhaps this is a time for putting denominational differences aside and being attentive to what is most important, unity in Christ both in the issue of abortion and how it is addressed. Perhaps this can be applied to other issues too.

    1. Adam – A somewhat confused post!

      Agreeing with the Catholics on abortion does not equate to agreeing with them on transubstantiation!

      I am very happy to work with the Church of Scotland in combatting abortion – but they won’t. The same grace is being extended – so I’m not sure what your point is. Its ironic that you comment ‘its easy to blame’ before then going on to blame! Yes we want unity in Christ on the issue of abortion – so we wait for the C of S to join us – it will be interesting to see if they do. And your response to them if they don’t. If they refuse the hand extended to them in Christ to fight this evil…

      1. Confused? I see that is what you have interpreted the comment as being. What is it about it that you claim is evidence of confusion?

        In what way do you claim I have been blaming? Was it about the shame of grace not being extended to the CofS? If that is the case, yes I do “blame” you for that David. And yes it was easy for me to do just as it was for you to blame the CofS. Was that me not extending grace to you? Possibly.

        This is exactly my point! when we blame, even if blame can be apportioned the most it can do is bring awareness of a problem. it doesn’t solve the problem.

        Who are the us in “join us”? It’s difficult to welcome a “hand extended” when it is done so without grace. It’s also easier to stick to one’s “tribe” and not be graceful towards the other. We know that a key part of being “in Christ” is extending grace, being a Jew to the Jews gentile to the gentiles or perhaps we could put it as being FCoS to the FCoS and CoS to CoS so that nothing be a hindrance to the gospel. Tribalism and insensitivity to “the other” doesn’t bring about unity whether in Christ or in any other endeavour.

        You are right to bring up the issue of evil. Resisting evil is out imperative in the strength of the Lord with the armour of God.. We hold every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ, We demolish arguments and pretenses that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. If we are centred on Christ we don’t pick fights just to destroy an argument, but to bring glory to Christ.

        There is and has been a diversity of views within evangelicalism historically. The specific example I gave was of what Lloyd Jones regarded as sinful and Stott disagreed with instead favouring loyalty to a “beloved denomination”. They stayed friends, in spite of the differences others didn’t.

        So we might agree over particular issues, but differ in how we think they are best addressed. May I suggest that where there are differences in the how that we find a better way than blame of managing differences?

        I say this to myself too!

      2. You are confused because you seem to not understand at all what the issue is here. The ‘us’ are those who are opposed to abortion and who accept the biblical teaching that every life, including that of the unborn, is sacred. Your ‘unity in Christ’ is meaningless if it does not include Christ and his teaching. If the C of S chooses not to defend the unborn, what do you think that it says about that church?

  4. I seem to remember watching a ghastly documentary called “The Choice” in PSHE that was originally shown on BBC 2. They interviewed various people – doctors and women who had had abortions. At a Marie Stopes clinic, one of the doctors was keen that people see an abortion for what it is and that they then broadcast an abortion. I say “then” because everyone in my class, myself included, were absolutely disgusted at the prospect and told the teacher to turn it off. So maybe the BBC have shown an abortion?


  5. To jack thomson:

    I appreciate that you may not agree with every doctrine taught by the Catholic Church but as a Catholic I am perplexed by your claim that “because the Roman Catholic Church, rather than encouraging a sinner into a direct personal and eternal life giving relationship with Jesus Christ…” If you had any – any – real knowledge of Catholic spirituality there is just no one way that you could say that. Try reading, for example, ‘The Way of Perfection’ by St Teresa of Avila. Or ‘The Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas a Kempis. The latter book, by the way, was highly regarded by John Wesley and General Gordon (of Khartoum fame). Jack’s views are, I fear, an example of people reaching conclusions which are not based on reading actual Catholic documents. As a Catholic I try to have a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How else can you be one of his disciples? I pray to God, through Jesus Christ. I read God’s revealed word in the Bible. I don’t claim to have a perfect relationship with Jesus Christ but I do seek God’s grace through all the means he has given us to help me improve my relationship. And one of the most important ways that we can improve that relationship is by increasing the love we have for our neighbours – all of them.

    Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour? (James 4:11-12)
    Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
    Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    (Apologies that that has nothing to do with abortion.)

  6. Amen.

    And I might add, I got more insight into these big moral issues from the public outspokenness of the Catholics than I did from my own denominational background.

  7. I may be grabbing a dog by the ears by intervening in this discussion, but….

    If any church or organisation following Christ has to wait for a “hand of grace” to get involved in making abortion history, it seriously needs to give its head a substantial wobble. In fact, I’d wonder who its head was.

    Women were created able to do everything a man just can’t. Yet we are told that we will not be successful, and less acceptable to society, if we do these essentially female things – in the name of feminism! Society is indeed indoctrinating women (and men) to see all that is truly female as throwaway and a problem to be solved. Not good enough.

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