Page 1, 28th April 1972

28th April 1972
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Page 1, 28th April 1972 — First calls for help to Lifeline
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Locations: London, Liverpool, Stockport

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First calls for help to Lifeline

IFELINE, the new advi , sory centre set up by the organisation Life to offer alternatives to abortion, received three calls for help within 24 hours of opening this week.

Miss Maureen Hevey, S.R.N., a State certified midwife, who set up the Welfare Department of the Royal College of Nursing to help nurses in difficulties, staffs the centre's headquarters in Victoria Street, London.

She said on Tuesday: "Youngsters are being pressurised by their parents into having abortions — and not just non-Catholics. Teenage girls from a Catholic school recently told me of a pregnant classmate who was expelled by her nun headmistress when she learned about the girl's condition.

"The girls told me the expelled girl's parents, who were Catholics, forced her into having an abortion."

This is why Lifeline's first aim is to "make propaganda against legal abortion" as well as to provide material and moral assistance to pregnant girls, regardless of denomination.

The organisation has grown out of Life, an anti-abortion group whose chairman is Professor J. J. Scarisbrick of Warwick University, a Catholic.

ADVERTISING Prof. Scarisbrick said at a press conference this week: "Every woman goes through rejection phases during pregnancy.

"We want to comfort and encourage married and unmarried mothers-to-be during a difficult or unintended pregnancy, so that they do not automatically go off to have an abortion because they believe it is the only answer."

Lifeline is advertising its services on the London Underground and is sending posters to Citizens Advice Bureaux, libraries, youth clubs and churches.

In addition to a permanent headquarters in London, there are a dozen local groups run by young married women in such places as Ccventry, Stockport, Leamington Spa, Hastings, Ipswich and Dorking. These groups advertise in local papers and provide a Samaritan-type telephone service.

About 25,000 people are expected to attend the biggest national rally yet held in protest against the Abortion Act in Liverpool on Sunday. Contingents will come from all parts of the country. Special trains or caravans of coaches have been chartered from some areas.

Speakers will be Mr. Leo Abse, M.P., a leader in the fight against the present law, Mr. Malcolm Muggeridge, and a consultant gynaecologist. Mr. James Dunn, M.P., will chair the meeting, and other M.P.s who will be present are Mr. Simon Mahon, Mr. F. Marsden and Mr. Gordon Oakes.

SILENT MARCH The rally is being organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, and patrons of the event are Rabbi S. Woolf (who will open the meeting), Archbishop Beck of Liverpool, the Anglican Bishops of Liverpool and Warrington (Bishop Blanche and Bishop Bickerstaff); the Rev. R. Kissack, chairman of the Liverpool Free Churches; and the Rev. P. Nuttall, chairman of the Baptist Churches of Lancashire and Cheshire.

The rally will begin at 2 p.m. in Islington Square with a silent march in atonement for the Abortion Act, ending at the Pier Head, where the public meeting will take place.

Mrs. Phyllis Bowman. spokesman for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: "We are determined to show Parliament the growing revulsion against the Abortion Act felt by people of all religious persuasions and of none."

The Catholic Priests' Association has welcomed the initiative of the Bishops of the diocese of Shrewsbury in offering spiritual and practical aid to those mothers, irrespective of creed, who are tempted to "put their unborn child to death."




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