Last year, sadly, marked the 50th year since the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act. On Friday 3 November, newly established centre Pregnancy Advice Sheffield (PAS) hosted an evening to increase pro-life awareness among Christians.
PAS seeks to provide quality information and professional advice to pregnant women, to demonstrate the importance of choosing life. Our three aims are to save the lives of babies; minimise regret among women who may have had or want to have an abortion; and to do this compassionately, presenting a Christian worldview for life.
The evening began by showing visitors the centre, allowing them to see the developing work and resources the Lord has already provided. Following this, two well delivered and informative sessions by paediatric consultant Dr Chris Richards and minister Rev. Dr Kevin Bidwell, provided Christians with an understanding of the medical and theological implications of abortion and pro-life.
Around 30 people — representing 8 or 9 churches from North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire — attended the meeting at Hill Top Chapel. An encouraging number of medical and non-medical students attended from local universities also.
Rev. Dr Kevin Bidwell’s session explained the biblical basis for pro-life from Psalm 139:13-18: ‘For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb … Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them’.
An exposition of the biblical basis for original sin, and the sixth commandment ‘You shall not murder’ (Exodus 20:13), helped bring further clarity on the theological and biblical need to preserve life in all its forms, especially that of an unborn child.
With the theological basis for life, there is also a biblical basis for action. We were exhorted to remember Proverbs 24:10-12: ‘If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death. Hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, Behold, we did not know this, does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?’
PAS does all it can to compassionately help women choose life. As Christians, it is our burden and privilege to no longer turn a blind eye to abortion in Britain.
We were encouraged by Dr Chris Richards, a founding member of the Tyneside Pregnancy Advice Centre and a trustee to PAS, who gave a powerful and informative session on ‘Putting the ethics into practice’. He testified to the work that is already established in Newcastle and recalled accounts of abortion-minded women who decided to keep their baby after talking through these issues with advisors at the centre.
To make the medical and biblical implications of abortion even more real to us, a powerful video of a live, ultrasound scan of a 12-week-old baby was shown. All signs of the baby’s life were evident: limbs, clear facial features, heartbeat and movements. It captivated everyone in the room. But how vulnerable and unprotected could that child be?
One student commented later on how impactful the evening had been and expressed a desire to be involved in pro-life centres like this one, in future. In these small beginnings, we seek to unite Christians of all ages and backgrounds to support life. Will you join us in prayer for this work?