We loved the SPUC Scotland Conference last Saturday! There were 3 fantastic speakers and breaks between talks which gave a good chance to talk to other pro-lifers attending the conference.
The first speaker was David Quinn, from Ireland. David spoke on ‘The Dictatorship of Relativism’. He showed us how society thinks it is OK for everyone to have their own beliefs, as long as they think that all beliefs are equal. However, in the name of equality, society has become intolerant of anyone who holds that all viewpoints are not equal. Minority groups (like LGBT, Muslims) are promoted and protected. This has stopped speech that may be valid and legitimate criticism (rather that hate speech). Anyone who disagrees with a lifestyle is termed a bigot and silenced. It is now deemed judgemental and intolerant to favour marriage as the best environment for bringing up children. There is the attempt to create uniformity in the name of diversity.
The second speaker was Clare Bremner, a counsellor from ARCH. She gave an amazing and heartbreaking insight into the mind of a woman, ‘Ellie’, who finds herself in a crisis pregnancy and ends up having an abortion. Explaining how the rapid change in hormones in the first trimester of pregnancy makes her emotionally up and down. How her threat system is activated, leading to ‘get me out of here’ tunnel vision, with abortion seeming the only emergency exit. However after an abortion the woman looks back and sees all the factors which drove her to having an abortion are actually not as disastrous as they seemed at the time and then she can be filled with regret and self-loathing. Often women who have had an abortion hope to become pregnant again soon afterwards. Thankfully the story had a happy ending, as compassion focussed therapy can help a woman to forgive and love herself once more after the trauma of abortion. In the words of Ellie ‘ARCH saved me’. Anyone suffering after abortion can contact ARCH for free help www.archtrust.org.uk 0845 603 8501
The third speaker was Stephanie Gray, from Canada (who is half Scottish). She lead us through an approach to constructively engage in conversation and debate with those who are pro-choice. Using an ‘ask questions and tell parables’ approach, drawing her inspiration from the approach of Jesus Christ in the Bible. Try to find something in what the other person says that you agree with. But then ask another question or illustrate your point with an analogy. For example, say ‘I agree with you, to be pregnant and poor would be hard. Imagine this, imagine you have a woman who is pregnant and not poor. She has her baby and 2 years later becomes poor. Is it OK for her to kill her child because she is in poverty?’ Also consider what the prior life experiences of the person have been and reach their heart. Sometimes, a pro-choicer is asking a question not to find out whether the unborn child is human but whether the pro-lifer is human. For example, in the case of rape. We would highly recommend her book ‘Love Unleashes Life’, which gives examples of what she spoke on.
We very much look forward to next year’s SPUC Scotland conference.
Below: the SPUC Scotland and ARCH team