...in Birmingham, Alabama, drew a good crowd. I was glad that I went along - not only to support it, of course, but also to observe and take note...lots of young families, parents with children in buggies or running about. We wouldn't get these good numbers at a pro-life rally back at home. Back in the 1970s we got vast numbers: I remember a great rally in Hyde Park with something like 80,000 or more people, big coachloads coming from different cities, but it's not like that now. The pro-life movement in Britain is active and youthful - there are some good things being done - but in the USA there is something much more community-based and strong going on. In America, the numbers at the local Marches for Life and the great national March in Washington get bigger and bigger every year, and opinion surveys show a majority of people expressing a generally pro-life view.
There were rousing speeches, notably from a lady speaking for the local "Physicians for Life" and for a representative of one of the many pro-life pregnancy support groups. The local abortion centre closed down some months ago. The annual March for Life goes past it - I remember last year seeing the staff there standing forlornly outside as the great crowd slowly made its way along the broad street.
In the crowd, the young Franciscans Friars from EWTN stand out in their brown robes: they are evidently on cheery and friendly terms with local people, lots of greetings and cheery chat. The local Bishop led us all in a prayer as the speeches closed. A team from "40 days for Life' was serving hot coffee and sugary doughnuts. The mood was upbeat and positive: this is a movement that is going forward and has a sense of zest and vigour about it.