UK Pro-Life Party Vows To Keep Message Alive

By Patrick Goodenough | July 7, 2008 | 8:09 PM EDT

London ( - Britain's only pro-life party failed to make much of an impression in this week's general election, but said Friday it would keep its message alive at a time the country faces an "anti-life future" under leaders who support abortion and cloning.

Candidates fielded by the Pro-Life Alliance in 37 electoral constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales managed to secure just 9,453 votes between them, with 475 votes the highest number being picked up by any one candidate.

By comparison, in the 1997 election, the PLA was able to put up 56 candidates and win 19,335 votes, with the candidate with the largest single showing getting 1,170 votes.

The party put a brave face on the results Friday, with a spokesperson saying that the 0.6 percent of the vote it achieved was "a vote for truth, and we applaud the integrity of all those who endorsed it."

The PLA congratulated its candidates, whom it said had "so courageously upheld the basic values of a just society in an election campaign corrupted by materialism and apathy."

The party received virtually no coverage in the UK media during the campaign, other than a handful of reports when the BBC rejected its political advertisement on the grounds that footage of abortions violated its "taste and decency" guidelines.

"That we have killed 6 million unborn children since 1967, callously destroyed thousands of human embryos in the laboratory, approved the abuse of embryos in research, given the green light to human cloning, and turned care of the elderly into proposals to kill them, was of no interest to the media during the election," the PLA said.

Britain's major parties consider abortion and similar issues as private matters and allow their lawmakers to vote according to conscience.

A number of leading Conservatives, including party leader William Hague, have strong pro-life views, but they only affect personal voting patterns, not party policy.

The PLA said there were many political issues which candidates were entitled to have private opinions on, but "nobody can have a private opinion on the basic right to life."

Despite the "colossal apathy of the media and electorate," it said, "the light of truth will never be extinguished."

Earlier Friday, Hague resigned after Labor routed his party. The man tipped as his likeliest successor, Michael Portillo, has far more liberal views.

Josephine Quintavalle, a spokesperson for the Pro-Life Alliance, ran for election in Portillo's central London constituency, where she received just 179 votes. Portillo was re-elected with 15,270 votes.

Quintavalle expressed concern Friday that the man who may well lead the Conservative Party in the future had abstained when the last parliament voted on human cloning.

"He has since confirmed that he is in favor," she said. "He has shown similar reluctance to commit himself on the life and death issues of abortion and euthanasia."

Pro-abortion campaigners Friday welcomed the PLA's poor performance in the election.

The PLA's showing was "a clear indication that people in Britain support the availability of legal abortion," said Ann Furedi of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which describes itself as "the UK's largest independent abortion provider."

"The fact that its support has fallen by 25 percent vindicates the view of BPAS that abortion is increasingly seen as a legitimate and morally responsible solution to unwanted pregnancy.

"This shows how little support there is for extreme anti-abortion views," said Furedi, who last week described PLA activists as "vile scum."

See also:
UK Pro-Life Party Denied Election TV Advert (June 1, 2001)

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow