(letters, 28 November) claims that she called SPUC to ask if we were organising a march against the government's decision to abolish the benefit for one-parent families and was told that all we were interested in "was the child between birth and euthanasia".
This seems extremely strange to me since nothing could be further from the truth as a portrayal of SPUC's policy and actions over the past three decades.
When I became active in SPUC as a young man 25 years ago, my first task was to organise locally SPUC's nationwide "Women's petition" for which 300,000 signatures were collected calling on the government to increase state benefit for single parents.
In 1977, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children successfully lobbied for an amendment to the Homeless Persons Act 1977 ensuring that mothers-to-be would enjoy housing as of right. This legislation has provided the legal foundation for our sister pro-life organisations to obtain houses in which mothers-to-be have found vital refuge and support.
SPUC helps mothers-to
be under pressure in any way we can, whether their needs are financial, emotional, medical, legal or whatever (albeit we are not a "pregnancy support" organisation, and we do not seek to compete with those who are). In addition, the Society has established and supports our daughter organisation "British Victims of Abortion" which reaches out with counselling and support to women who have had an abortion.
As far as "marches" are concerned, SPUC has not organised a march on a national scale on any issue since 1983. A march can be an effective way of building support on an issue, of course, but it has limited political and educational value. However, we will continue to build the culture of life by our support for mothers-to-be, as well as so many others who suffer as a result of our abortion law, whilst we carry on our educational work and political fight against Britain's legislation which results in the killing of 500 unborn children every day.
I would be happy to meet with your correspondent to explain our work more fully. John Smeaton, National Director, SPUC