Following on from the Evian pro-life campaign in May, I saw an astonishing poster at Leicester Square tube this afternoon. In a single image, it manages to proclaim the humanity of the unborn child, the vulnerability of this child, and its utter dependence on the goodness of those adults in whose care it finds itself – and on the rest of society.
So there is the tag-line, superimposed on the pregnant mother’s tummy: “Her baby can’t ask you for help, but we can”. A pro-life charity couldn’t have designed a more effective advert.
I wonder if in some small way this will help to change people’s perceptions of the unborn child, to raise consciousness; or at least prod people to join the dots in their moral thinking: Why, as a society, do we want to put money and resources into helping vulnerable children in the womb, when at the same time we are taking away their lives through abortion? Whatever your moral view, it doesn’t make logical sense.
I’d never heard of Sparks, which is running the campaign. So I guess that makes it a successful campaign! It’s a charity ‘For children’s health’, and the vision statement at the top of the website reads, ‘Help more babies be born healthy’. Yes indeed!
I’m not promoting the charity, because I don’t know what its attitude to abortion and selective screening is, or where the money actually goes. Here are the aims from the ‘about’ page:
As a leading children’s medical research charity we are dedicated to funding and championing pioneering research into a range of conditions affecting babies, children and mums-to-be.
Since 1991, we have committed over £23 million into pioneering research projects across a wide spectrum of medical conditions including childhood cancers, cerebral palsy, premature birth and spina bifida. In total, the charity has funded 233 research projects in more than 80 hospitals and universities across the UK.
Through the research we fund, we aim to improve the quality of life for children and families affected by serious illness or disability today, whilst seeking ways to better diagnose, treat and prevent these conditions in the future.
The medical breakthroughs we make possible, make a difference not only across the UK but for thousands of children and families around the world.
The key phrase is: seeking “to better diagnose, treat and prevent these conditions in the future”. Prevention, for many in the UK, means selective termination or embryo screening that results in the destruction of discarded embryos.
If anyone from Sparks ever reads this and can reassure me that the goals of the charity are strictly to help children with medical conditions and not to screen out unhealthy children, then I will be very happy to endorse them! I’m just being cautious because there is so much moral ambiguity in a lot of medical research today.