Needed: New Approaches for Britain Print
Monday, 02 June 2008 16:47

Written by Joe Waters

Godspy has an interesting opinion piece by Austen Ivereigh up now about the “Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill” that recently passed the House of Commons.

Though the passage of this bill is certainly a setback for the pro-life movement in Britain, it should also serve as a call to a greater practical commitment to life in British society, particularly through the dedicated involvement of lay people willing to respect and affirm life through their own actions and initiatives. The policy statements of the bishops and the minority of committed pro-lifers in the Commons failed to stop the progress of this bill. Perhaps, now it is time for Christians in Britain (and indeed throughout Europe and America) to step back and return to basics, and seek to change the laws and culture “from the bottom up” like William Wilberforce did in the 18th and 19th centuries when he embarked upon another sort of campaign in defense of human life. There are some excellent opportunities here for lay people to work effectively in the public square on these issues, but we must first recognize that our commitment to life extends beyond the voting booth, policy statements, and Marches for Life.

More initiatives from the grassroots that seek to promote respect for life, especially through crisis pregnancy centers, care for babies with disabilities or terminal illnesses, the care of the poor and sick whose lives are considered “worthless” by the culture, and other efforts to dissuade women from abortion and convince the public of the immorality of abortion by boundlessly loving mothers and children will go a long way in turning the tide of popular opinion just as the human faces of slaves and the exemplary witness of committed Christians did nearly 200 years ago. Without a doubt, this bill is a huge defeat for the pro-life movement on the public policy front, but it opens up tremendous opportunities for new, innovative initiatives in Britain and should encourage those of us who live elsewhere to a renewed commitment to work on behalf of life.