THE 15,000 strong proabortion meeting in
Trafalgar Square on Satur day resembled a political gathering of the extreme Left, according to some of the 1,000 counter demonstrators present.
Mrs Margaret Shovelton, of the Harrow branch of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said this week: "There • was a solid phalanx of red banners, Com munist Youth, International Socialists, Anarchists' Association, the Gay Liberation Front and Sapho, a lesbian group."
The pro-life group lined the perimeter of the meeting, and the march route. According to
reports, their silence contrasted with yells of 'SPUC off
from the demonstrators. The meeting was addressed by Mrs Renee Short, Labour Member for Wolverhampton NorthEast.
While observers reported that banners with abortion as a subject were in a minority ainong the pro-abortionists, causing one policeman, to call it "a day out for the Reds", the opposite was true of the antiabortion group.
Children wore slogans 'Pick on Someone Your Qwn Size' and Women for Life carried a banner proclaiming 'Be Permissive — Let Your Child Live." A South Wales delegation carried a giant banner saying: "The people of Wales support James White and Leo Abse." • A message from Cardinal Heenan was read at an ecumenical service organised by the Festival of Light, the Order of Christian Unity and the Salvation Army had been held at Trafalgar Square. The Cardinal said: "A medical commission is to be set up to discover the reason for the alarming increase in the number of babies dying in their cots. is it not even more alarm ing that in this country a far greater number of babies are killed in the womb befote they reach their cots? May God bless all who work to put an end to this attack on life. '
A group of girls led by a Salvation Army band later left the service, attended by around 300 people, to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister at Downing Street. Signed by Raymond Johnston, director of the Festival of Light, Lady Lothian, chairman of the Order of Chris ti an Unity and General Wiseman of the Salvation Ar my, it asked Mr Wilson "to do all in your power to uphold laws which protect the sanctity of human life in Britain. We also appeal to you to resist the current clamour by extremist groups for abortion on demand."
Many anti-abortionists found it hard to take the proabortionists seriously.
"I found it all a bit laughable" said a university stu
dent who had come to still's-6n
SPUC, "One got the impression that most of the pro abortionists didn't even know what they were marching for. Their banners represented a whole mythology of the extreme left, which is like some obscure religious cult — it has nothing to do with the real world as we live it today.
A London SPUC campaigner said he was fascinated to know why the Gay Liberationists were against abortion, and another said he was longing to put out to the MarxistLennini! types that Lenin himself had been emphatically opposed to abortion, which he had seen as a capitalist plot to cut down the number of potential revolutionaries,
Miss Joanna Nash, a Conservative Councillor in Sutton. London, and a member of SPUC, said coachloads of prolife supporters, organised by the society, had conic from Wigan, Manchester, Liverpool, South Wales and all over London and the Home Counties. Many nurses, several doctors andgroups of young people were among those taking part in the 'silent witness' against the proabortionists, she said.
Mrs Shovelton said: "You've got a silent majority against abortion on demand — but they are too damn silent. 1 think there should be more communication between the antiabortion groups and I am going to see what I can do locally about this."
The proand anti-abortion demonstrators were separated by crash barriers and a force of 200 police, ensuring no incidents occurred.
At the end of her speech, Mrs Short was presented with a petition allegedly containing more than 150,000 signatures saying that James Whites' Abortion Amendment Bill, if passed, would increase back street abortions.
Mrs Phyllis Bowman, SPUC press officer, said: "The big fight to come will be to reestablish the Select Committee on Abortion after the Parliamentary summer recess. The Government ministers concerned are known to be proabortion."
In Rome, this week Pope Paul bitterly attacked birth control, euthanasia and abortion, which he said would be considered by history as a "debit for the contemporary world."
The Pope was speaking to the College of Cardinals to mark his name day, Tuesday, and the 12th anniversary of his coronation on June 30.
He told the cardinals: "We would not want to forget the assaults which would be perpetrated today, in the 'name of a misunderstood freedom that offends God and debases man, by a society that does not want to recognise any other moral law than that of its own sufficiency and its own affirmations, "We are referring to artificial birth control, to abortion, to euthanasia, as to all those forms — whether open or disguised of manipulation of man, which now indicate and will indicate in the future a grave debit for the contemporary world on the quadrant of history."