Forsaken, Alternatives, and Living Light: Opposition to Abortion in Taunton

Christian Concern for Our Nation reports:

On 2 November 2010 an adjournment debate was held in the House of Commons regarding the need for women to be given more information prior to an abortion. The debate was called for by Nadine Dorries MP who highlighted the urgent need for women to be given all of the information they needed prior to a potential abortion, including information related to its risks, and the other options that may be available to pregnant women…

Dorries is particularly close to CCFON; prior to the election, CCFON members registered and created her campaign website. Dorries has spoken on the subject of abortion previously, and is known for promoting the “hand of hope” urban legend. CCFON, meanwhile, has links with the US Alliance Defense Fund and with the anti-gay New Generation churches, and it is not inaccurate to describe it as a Christian Right organisation.

In her Commons speech, Dorries made the claim that women are pushed into abortions by counsellors and providers who wish to make money. Further:

…During the debate Nadine mentioned a book called ‘Forsaken – Women from Taunton Talk About Abortion’. The book is published by the charity Forsaken, and contains harrowing stories of women suffering from post-abortion syndrome. It was written by Angela Coakes and her friends who have been working with women with post-abortion syndrome in Taunton [in southwest England].

Forsaken has a website here; details of those involved are scarce, although alongside Angela Coakes a certain Philip Coakes has responded to queries. “Phil and Angie Coakes” are listed as homegroup leaders at Living Light Christian Church in Taunton, and the church has founded a local pregnancy centre called Alternatives; a link to this centre is given on the Forsaken website. Neither site has any reference to the church, and it takes a purely secular approach to the subject.

An mp3 sermon on the “Alternatives Pregnancy Centre Vision”, given by Elder John Lalgee at Living Light in 2007, can be heard here; he comes across as thoughtful and sensitive, and he specifically warns against hostility towards women who have had abortions. He is also keen that professionals should understand that

we’re not radical lunatics… who are not going to speak sense and wisdom and care objectively to the women.

Living Light Taunton belongs to a wider group of churches in the UK and the USA; according to the website, Lalgee, who is from Blackpool,

…oversees the congregations in Kenosha, Racine and Pleasant Prairie as well as, Living Light Church in Taunton, and Covenant Life Church in Lake City, Michigan. All of this work is carried out as part of One Church Ministries, which John leads.

The church in Taunton is led by Ben Thorne, in whose name the Alternatives website is registered. Although the churches are Charismatic, the style seems far closer to mainstream British evangelicalism than to the US “Christian Right”.

51 Responses

  1. There is big money in abortion and many women are
    not told about the after effects which can happen.

    Why should a miscarriage cause trauma but not an abortion.

    It is after all the murder of the unborn and there is
    plenty of research showing that pain is suffered by the
    unborn baby.

    It is against God’s laws and no Christian should justify it.

    I think woman who have been given wrong advice and are suffering should employ a lawyer.

    Unwanted babies are easily adopted.

    • This is the typical gutlessness of the anti-abortionist. If abortion is really the murder of the unborn, shouldn’t the women go to jail?

      • @Bill
        Women who kill their babies AFTER they are born do not generally go to jail.

        Yet this does not mean that (post-birth) infanticide should therefore be legal or any reluctance to jail women who kill their children indicates a belief that these children are sub-human or do not have a right to life.

      • OK, but even if women who kill their babies don’t go to jail most of the time, due to considerations of mental responsibility, they do some of the time, and the law does consider what they do a crime. Yet advocates of criminalizing abortion do not advocate treating the women who solicit abortions as guilty of a crime.

  2. Standing up for the helpless unborn is gutlessness ?
    Talk about Orwellian speak. This particular murder is
    legalised so they can’t go to jail. The culture says its
    OK so woman who have aborted their child have less
    blame than the powers that be who condone and encourage it.
    One thing’s for sure if your mother had aborted you -you would not be writing your email.

    • The bible is clear that ensoulment happens 30 days after birth and before that the child is reckoned a viable livig thing.

      Abortion is not murder, it’s not even killing.

      One thing’s for sure if your mother had aborted you -you would not be writing your email.

      What a mind dazzlingly stupid comment. If my mother had aborted me I would not have existed to know or care.

      • Correction.

        *not reckoned*

      • Dogsbody – can you show me where in the Bible it
        says this

      • Dogsbody – this is an athiest position – eg we are just
        here by accident – The Christian position is that the soul of that child will be with God. Plus it may have
        damaging effects on the mother later on athiest or not.

    • Should women who get abortions go to jail as murderesses or not? If “the culture” says it ok why should the “powers that be” be any more to blame than the women, unless what you really believe is that women are too weak and frail to have moral responsibility. As for the argument that if I was aborted I wouldn’t be here, its silly–if my mother had never met my father I wouldn’t be here either, but so what?

      • Bill – again this is the athiest viewpoint – eg you are here by accident – but the Christian viewpoint is that
        nothing that happens is not already known by God .
        “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. …. Isaiah 49:5.
        For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. …
        bible.cc/psalms/139.
        As I said already I was indifferent to abortion until I became a Christian at 35 – so I can’t judge your opinion when I held the same one .
        Abortion is described in the Bible when Israel fell into
        apostasy.

  3. “There is big money in abortion”
    Care to provide some actual figures to prove that?
    ” and many women are not told about the after effects which can happen.”
    Again, some proof would be nice.
    “Unwanted babies are easily adopted.”
    Rubbish. In 2007 there were 219,336 abortions carried out in the UK. Do you rally think that 200,000 sets of adoptive parents can be found each and every year? Especially when many of these babies will be suffering from significant disabilities?

    Charles, you have NO idea bout the facts of abortion.

    • Sophia – not all aborted children would need to have
      been adopted. After birth many mothers would have held onto their children. But there are thousands of women willing to adopt.
      By the way have you read that the western nations are
      beyond the point of no return re low birthrates. In other
      words they will disappear at current rates of birth.
      And there will not be enough young people to support
      the economy and old people .
      The Muslims have already said that to wipe out the
      western nations they only have to wait about 20 years
      due to their higher birth rates.

      The myth of overpopulation has been around for hundreds of years.
      PS – Bach the composer had around 13 children but the average in Italy is less than two per family – they prefer materialism.

      Google up the big organisations who make money
      out of abortion.

      • Charles, you;re the one who is supposed to be convincing me. Now how about YOU “googling up the information”?
        JS Bach (if that’s the Bach you’re talking about) actually had at least 20 children, by two wives. 10 of them died in infancy – sadly very common in those days. But what has this to do with abortion? And why bring in the subject of birth rates – and the myth of high Muslim birth rates – as well?

  4. […] Comments sophia8 on Forsaken, Alternatives, and Living Light: Opposition to Abortion in TauntonWISGTOS on Archbishop Duncan Williams Marries US BusinesswomanBill on Forsaken, Alternatives, […]

  5. All abortion has done is deresponsibalised males. Most qwomen abort under pressure from their boyfriends and sometimes even their employers.

    Babies are bad for the economy. They take women our of the workforce thereby putting upward pressures on wage structures. Businessmen don’t like that. Women should ALWAYS abort so that bankers and industrialist can line their pockets with even more money. Money, as we all kow, is far more important than human life

    http://www.news.com.au/feel-the-pain-babies-to-blame/story-0-1111117117146

  6. Can you believe these people coming up with nonsense like “post-abortion syndrome”?

    Any stress that some women may feel after having had a termination would most likely due to all the negativity and disparagement directed at us by religious fanatics. Knowing that these people are so fanatical that they will even resort to terrorism and murder to try and stop women from freeing ourselves and our bodies from unwanted pregnancies would tend to cause stress.

    We in Britain have been largely free from this sort of religious insanity since the days of the Civil War (apart from the Victorian aberration) but now it looks like we are being dragged back to the dark ages by bucketloads of money and propaganda from North America.

    • Jenna
      Plenty of athiest women who have abortions have after
      effects as they also do after miscarriages – why blame
      these problems on “religious fanatics”.

      A miscarriage is no one’s fault so why does it cause trauma without the ” religious fanaticism”.

  7. Jenna – how do you know that “post abortion syndrome” is made up- I would tend to believe the women who are going through it .

  8. JEREMIAH

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; (NIV Bible)

  9. Jenna, most women don’t abort out of choice. They have pressure put on them to ‘terminate’ the pregnancy from friends, family and boyfriends.

    The whole debate around abortion is dishonest and framed in improper terms.

    Abortion risks transforming women into little more than the playthings of men. You’re never ‘unsightly’ ( ie have a big stomach), you’re never off work and without pay and, most importantly, you’re always AVAILABLE so that your boyfriend/partner can have easy effortless sex any time he wants.

    50 odd years ago women’s liberation was presented in beguiling terms as an emancipation from drudgery and children, etc.

    But the main thrust of this ‘liberation’ came at a time of very, VERY low unemployment rates and an overall scarcity of manpower.

    Women’s liberation took women out of the home and chained them to an assembly/production line and the resulting deifict of births was compensated for by massive immigration.

    This ‘liberation’ created an unclass of gender wage-slaves off of which some already wealthy people made even more money. Things have improved somewhat, but back in the 70 and 80s most of these liberated women were simply blue-collar workers trapped in dead-end jobs, and that’s still pretty much the general rule today.

    During WWII women entered the workforce en mass. But the moment the war ended those women scurried back to the home, and they didn’t do so in order to cede their employment to the returing soldiers in a gesture of selflessness. No, they did so, and despite what propagandists would have you believe, because being Rosie-the-riveter was shit.

    I’ve often thought that 50s clothing was so ultra feminine ( big crinolines and that string of pearls) because women were trying to compensate for the butch jobs they’d been forced to do just 5 or 6 years earlier.

    The whole abortion/liberation meme is fundamentally dishonest and deliberately skews certain unpleasant realities with regards to female wage-slavery, as well as other related issues.

  10. June – I agree with this – I think woman were far happier in the fifties – and so were children . It was a great time – I was there.

  11. Sophia – there were many in the Bach family who wrote music. Johann had seven children by his first wife who died then another 13 by his second wife.
    7 children died but this is not the end for a Christian
    whose child is safe in God’s hands.

    It is the Muslims who said we only have to wait 20 years to outnumber the Western nations. There
    are lots of studies on this generational gap and low birth rates.

    Bach had a succesful life without aborting his children.

    Now the secular society we have now prefers materialism rather than children but is less happy.

    As for Bach’s children who died ” but the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God and no torment shall
    ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seem to have died and their departure was thought to be an affliction ….. but they are at peace.” Solomon’s Wisdom. ( I know that Solomon fell away but his wisdom stands)

  12. Bill – to these people it was not another dead child but
    another soul in Heaven . Having lost a child myself
    I wanted to know if she was now “cosmic dust” or still
    alive so I began to search the scriptures and other
    books on creation and became a believer then the real
    pain went since I sincerely believed.
    This is the opposite of the evolutionary athiestic approach that we are an accident.

  13. For some reason I seem to be unable to reply directly to this

    charles allan, on November 8, 2010 at 9:50 am said:

    So are the problems caused by miscarriage made up.

    but, in any event, I don’t see how miscarriage is relevant to the discussion.

  14. D Notice – If women get depressed etc after a miscarriage which is outwith their control how much
    more will the effects be if they have an abortion which
    they later regret.
    I think if a woman is badly affected by abortion and has
    been given wrong advice then that woman should be able to sue her advisors.

    • If women get depressed etc after a miscarriage which is outwith their control how much more will the effects be if they have an abortion which they later regret.

      You’re more likely to be depressed over something which is out of your control than something which is within your control…

      I think if a woman is badly affected by abortion and has been given wrong advice then that woman should be able to sue her advisors.

      In order to have an abortion in Britain you need to approval of 2 separate medical practitioners (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/abortion/Pages/Introduction.aspx), so there will be no real grounds to sue.

  15. So the authorities have two faithful witnesses against
    any law suit. But I thought if a doctor did not believe in abortion then they were not allowed to give any advice
    ie no freedom of concience.
    We also wonder kind of advice the patient gets.

  16. How can you dehumanise the doctor from the treatment – It is not a garage where a car gets repaired
    – we are human and after effects of abortion can come along later.

    How can you take away your personal beliefs when dealing with another human. What about the experiments of Dr Mengele – I am sure he had no personal beliefs or morals regarding his experiments .

    You are reducing the role of the doctor/patient to a car mechanic repairing a car.

  17. How do you know the “patient’s needs” will not be exactly what the personal beliefs the Dr has – especially if the Dr has experience in this area – you are trying to dehumanise the Dr / patient relationship.

    • How do you know the “patient’s needs” will not be exactly what the personal beliefs the Dr has – especially if the Dr has experience in this area

      Because the approval of two separate medical practioners is needed in order for an abortion to be obtained!

      you are trying to dehumanise the Dr / patient relationship.

      How am I doing that? How can putting the patient’s needs first possibly “dehumanise” this relationship?

  18. Simply because no amount of doctors may realise what the “patient’s needs” are especially since the culture seems to be abort rather than not abort.
    “patient’s needs” is just double speak for the removal
    of life from the unborn child.

    The whole thing boils down to an evolution creation debate. Is there a God who imparted a soul to that
    unborn child or is the child born out of pure blind chance.
    On the day of Judgement I would not like to be one who
    encourages abortion although repentance will be accepted.

    I saw one of the greatest anti abortion sermons but
    can’t find a reference ( can someone help me here ) – at the end of the sermon the man admitted that he was the one who persuaded his wife to have an abortion.

    I pray that you come to an understanding of what abortion really is – basically the murder of the unborn.
    But I too was indifferent before I became a Christian
    so I can’t judge anyone who has been led down this road.

  19. […] couple of weeks ago I blogged about Forsaken, a charity offering abortion counselling in Taunton; the charity has published a […]

  20. […] Forsaken is not all that Dorries cracked it up to be. It’s an anti-abortion organisation with very close ties to an evangelical christian church with all the usual trappings that implies, and Dorries knows it, hence her attempt to warn-off […]

  21. […] promoting her views about the highly-dubious ‘post-abortion syndrome’ and links with a group, Forsaken, which describes itself as ‘non-aligned’ but seems to be very obviously […]

  22. […] is dubious – she has commended a booklet on abortion produced by a group called Forsaken, which she described in the same terms. In fact, as I blogged here, the booklet is a religious […]

  23. The batshit nuts discussion that is going on here, shows why we must be vigilant about people wanting to restrict women;s health services, and their autonomy over decisions regarding their own bodies.

    Re: mention of miscarriage. How is that relevant to abortion? I have had 4 miscarriages, each of which was brutal and scarring. None of those miscarriages makes me believe that forcing a woman to become a mother, and restricting her health services are appropriate.

    Seriously, at some point we need the cuckoos to be told to fuck off and impose their morality on someone else. If someone wants to restrict womens health services, in a way that we know costs the lives of 10’s thousands of womens per year- on the basis of their moral beliefs, I want evidence that their moral judgement is better than mine. Seriously- abortion discussion attracts the wackos.

  24. Lisa
    Plenty of people are willing to adopt – you admit your miscarriages scarred you – so how much more might abortion. Your stridency might be the
    prelude to a “road to Damascus” conversion ,I pray.
    The unborn baby is a human being created by God.
    If you look up the anti abortion sites you will see pictures that will horrify you and show you the truth.

  25. […] she introduced a pregnancy counselling organisation called Forsaken into a Parliamentary debate; she described it as being “neither pro-life nor pro-choice”, when its only publication is a booklet […]

  26. […] what they have to say about abortion and how Dorries describes their book: A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Forsaken, a charity offering abortion counselling in Taunton; the charity has published a […]

  27. […] service Dorries has in particular commended does treat abortion in terms of sin – this is Forsaken, an organisation based in Taunton. Forsaken’s literature associates abortion with a sense of […]

  28. I recommend the video 180% by Living Waters
    website – produced by ray comfort and kirk cameron
    before any woman undertakes an abortion.

  29. […] SPUC’s director John Smeaton as “shameful and cowardly”. However, in 2010 she misrepresented a pro-life religious counselling charity as being “neither pro-life nor pro-choice”, […]

  30. Looking for a solid spirit filled church living in the giftings. 508-846-9548

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