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London's March for Life draws thousands of participants

(Facebook/MarchForLifeUK)Participants of the March for Life in London are seen in a Facebook photo.

Thousands of people gathered in the streets of London on Saturday to take part in the first March for Life in the U.K.'s capital city.

Among the prominent pro-life activists who took part in the event was American singer Joy Villa, who led the march through Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square.

Upon their arrival to Parliament Square, the crowd was addressed by Clare McCullough of Good Counsel Network.

McCullough had criticized the decision by the Ealing Council to create a buffer zone around an abortion clinic in the borough, preventing pro-life activists from standing within 100 meters of the facility.

The pro-life activists at the march are opposing the liberalization of U.K.'s abortion law, which already allows women to obtain the procedure in certain situations.

Abortion advocates have argued that it can be difficult to obtain the procedure when the woman wants it. They further contended that mothers should have more say in the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Regan King, a Christian pro-life advocate, told Premier prior to the march that the participants want to show politicians that there is a significant number of people in the U.K. who "care about the life of the pre-born child as well as the mother."

The march, which was initiated by a small group of pro-life advocates in 2012, usually takes place in Birmingham at the anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act. The event had reportedly grown in popularity that the organizers decided to hold it in London this year.

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley encouraged those in attendance to consider running for public office but cautioned that they might come under attack if they do so.

"You have no idea of the galvanising effect your courage will have if you stand up before the British media courageously, even under attack, and be pro-life. You're setting the seeds of the next generation," Keenan said, as reported by Catholic Herald. "We will win this battle by truth, but we will win it even more by courage," he added.

London Irish United for Life took part in the event to encourage Irish people in London to head back home and vote "No" in the referendum to repeal Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the equal rights of the mother and the unborn baby.

Life's Director of Education and Media Anne Scanlan described the event as a "fantastic day" for the pro-life movement.

"So many people have come out today to show that the prolife voice is still alive and well, standing for equal rights for the baby in the womb and providing real help and support to women," she said, according to Independent Catholic News.

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