Pro-life groups celebrated the ending of abortions at the Bedford Square abortion clinic of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in June.
Pro-lifers held prayer vigils and protests at the clinic for 13 years, including a nine-day novena of prayer attended by 21 priests in 2005, while 40 Days for Life prayer vigils have been held there twice a year for the last three years.
A BPAS spokeswoman said the clinic was not closing, but ‘moving some of its services’ to its clinic in Stratford, East London. The spokeswoman added: ‘There’s been no drop off in numbers, but this isn’t a residential area. We’re opening up smaller clinics, more of them, nearer to where women live’.
At least 20 women attending the clinic decided to keep their babies as a result of the support and offers of help provided by 40 Days for Life, which called it a ‘significant and highly symbolic victory’.
Mark Banks, communications coordinator of 40 Days for Life, said, ‘God has heard the prayers of the 10,000-plus individuals who have participated in 40 Days for Life vigils in central London in the last few years’.
‘Our prayers continue to be with the mothers and children who have had their lives ruined through abortions at Bedford Square. Given this facility is not entirely closing down we shall assess our presence at this clinic for our next scheduled vigil commencing 25 September’.
Daniel Blackman, a research and education officer with the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and a member of the 40 Days for Life London organising team from 2010-2012, welcomed the news.
He said, ‘Like the head of hydra, BPAS opened a new facility in Stratford, East London, in 2011. SPUC launched a vigorous campaign of opposition, working closely with local residents and pro-life groups.
‘Sadly, BPAS Stratford is now open six days a week, with long opening hours, carrying out chemical and surgical abortions, i.e. more abortion procedures than were offered at Bedford Square.
‘SPUC, together with others who want to offer protection for unborn children and their parents, will continue its campaign against BPAS’.