pro life, baby, pregnancy

Abortion is just like ‘beheading children’: Everything that happened at Liverpool’s first Pro-Life event

The Q&A session got heated

On Wednesday evening, in Activity Room 10 of the Guild, the infamous new Liverpool Pro-Life society gathered for its first society event: a presentation run by Life charity education officers Liz Parsons and Clare Plasom-Scott, followed with a question and answer session with the audience.

An audience member at the event said that contraception had helped “women be enslaved by men”, during a heated evening of discussion about women’s and foetus’ rights.

The audience appeared to be split 50/50 between pro-lifers and pro-choicers who had come to contest the meeting. Guild Vice President Anonda made an appearance, along with petition starter and founder of the pro-choice society Katriana Ciccotto.

Liz Parsons argued in her presentation that abortion was an equal rights issue, and that Life stood for the equal rights of the foetus and the mother. She explained the stages of development for a foetus and brought plastic moulds of how large a foetus is at different stages of development to illustrate her point. She suggested that evidence in a 2010 report showed that women who had abortions were more likely to suffer mental illnesses than women who carried their child to full term.

During the Q&A session, however, the meeting began to get tense. The discussion ranged from discourse on economic support of pregnant women to contraception in African countries.

At one point, when cut-off points for abortions were being discussed, an audience member said: “Even if it was one child, I mean you wouldn’t say one three year old child being being beheaded, it’s just oh well, it’s just a number.” When he was attacked for his use of the word ‘beheaded’ he replied “It’s not a rhetoric, that’s what happens in an abortion […] that’s exactly what happens in a surgical abortion after the 24 weeks.”

Conversation became aggressive, however, when contraception was discussed. An audience member queried the distinct lack of contraceptive advice on the Life website stating that she believed contraceptive use lead to reduced abortion figures.

The Life charity website lists making abortion a ‘thing of the past’ as one of its aims

Parsons blamed the lack of website information on website updates not being completed after a rebrand in June. She then stated the the charity organised talks in schools and colleges on sexual relationships, before admitting that “As a pro-life organisation we don’t comment greatly on contraceptive. We are against any contraceptive that might affect the fertilised egg, because as I said that’s when life begins and there are some medical contraceptives that might do that […] there are some types of the pill that […] stop the fertilised egg from implanting in the womb. Anything that does that for us is not acceptable.”

Parsons then went on to say that she thought “one of the reasons we have so many abortions is [because] of an over reliance on contraceptive.”

Things began to heat up when an audience member queried, to laughter from the pro-choice audience members, if Parson’s solution was to stop people having sex.

A male audience member then stated that: “Where the UN actually spend a lot of money on contraception, giving them out in African countries, abortion rates went right up because people just had more sex [..] when people promoted chastity, abortion rates dropped right down.”

Another audience member then interjected that contraception had helped the path of women’s rights since the introduction of widespread contraception, to which the male audience member replied “What you mean is it’s helped women be enslaved by men”.

The evening was then swiftly brought to a close.