Radical political analysis, commentary and discussion in Wales
Dadansoddiad a thrafodaeth radicalaidd o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru
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Opposing anti-abortionists in Cardiff

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) held UK wide kerbside vigils on Saturday 28th April to mark the 44th Anniversary of the Abortion Act - a law allowing women to opt for legal, safe terminations. In Cardiff, they chose an area by a junction on the busy A470 near Whitchurch High School.

As most people with an ounce of common sense don't think that sending human rights back to the dark ages is very progressive, it didn't take long to muster support for a counter demo. Nearly fifty of us turned up, despite SPUC's best efforts to keep the location secret. When we contacted them, we were told that it was a 'members only' vigil. It would appear, judging by Saturday's turnout, that they only have fifteen active members in the Cardiff area.

The demonstration started at 11am. The SPUCkers looked quite shocked to see us as they collected their boards which read 'Abortion - A baby can live without it' and 'Hurt by abortion? Call xxxx'. They spread themselves out thinly around all corners of the junction, and we thought it only right and good to keep them company. Some of us sang songs while others waved their placards strategically. Many of us attempted to engage in debate with them, and while a few were pleasant, their general response was aggressive. They made childish digs at our appearance, called us various names, including 'murderers', made homophobic comments, and one even threatened to push someone under a truck! I'm sure this isn't a fair representation of god-fearing, church-going Catholics as these all claimed to be.

Worryingly, among their more abusive numbers was a doctor who 'maybe' works at Heath Hospital and apparently isn't in SPUC, even though this was supposedly a members only vigil. Aside from the fact that his bedside manner must be awful, it's hard to believe after meeting him that he would be capable of being impartial. These people are extremists and not far removed from the likes of the BNP. If we don't allow extremists to teach in schools, then should our health be in their hands either?

For a mixed gender group who claim to be pro-life, they seemed to care very little for the numbers of women who were maimed or died at the hands of back street abortionists or home efforts, or for those who became pregnant through rape. One of them said that they believed that rape is god's will and a way for women who can't have children to be catered for. But it's not god's will that they can't have children themselves?! Apparently not.

Apart from varying levels of verbal exchange, and the odd wind-forced placard clash, the two hour demo passed peacefully. At the end of it, I asked Paul Botto, secretary of the SPUC Cardiff branch, what he felt they'd achieved with the day's protest.
"It's not a protest, it's a silent witness. We have met the opposition and are grateful that they were allowed to be born."
Thanks for that, Paul. Providing you don't get your way and none among us are forced to bleed to death in some hot tub, we'll all see you next year.