Sunday, 30 October 2011

Margaret Cuthill has changed the nature of the abortion debate in the UK

Two beautiful sisters, Marion, left, and Margaret Cuthill, right, the national co-ordinator of ARCH (Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline), met in Glasgow last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Margaret's working as a post-abortion counsellor.

ARCH, formerly known as British Victims of Abortion, is an organization which offers help for women, men and families to restore their lives and relationships after an abortion experience, as well as providing crisis pregnancy support. Its helpline, 0845 683 8501, is available during office hours, Monday to Friday, and from 7 pm to 10 pm, seven days a week. Margaret has been central to this compassionate outreach project of the SPUC Educational Research Trust for a generation.

Pictured in the background are (left to right) Philippa Forsdike and Robin Haig, trustees of the SPUC educational research trust, and Cathy McBean and Louise Shearer, Margaret's colleagues in ARCH.

I was privileged to pay tribute to Margaret at the Glasgow celebration of her great work.

For me, Margaret embodies what the pro-life movement is all about. Quite apart from her daily counselling, Margaret has devoted her life to giving a courageous, powerful, personal witness concerning her own abortions. She's the most moving speaker on abortion I've ever heard, with her simple, understated witness. Again and again, over the years, her personal witness has helped to change the nature of the abortion debate in the UK, humanizing it, removing it from the level of confrontation, and introducing people, instead, to the truth. She certainly fulfils Pope John Paul II's prophetic address, in Evangelium Vitae, to women who've had an abortion:
With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life.
On behalf of so many people you've helped and inspired, Margaret, thank you.

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