Picture Check – Cheap not cheerful?

On 13 November 2020 the Edinburgh Live website published an article: “Edinburgh campaign calls for ban on anti-abortion protests from Chalmers health centre” The story was illustrated with this picture:



The picture shows a number of people behind a crowd control barrier. One is an unhappy looking woman in a blue shirt and jacket holding a sign saying ‘Protect the embryo’ Other signs say ‘Protect the Family’ and, probably, ‘Lower the Limit.’ Two police officers in yellow jackets, and a police van, can be seen in the background.

Edinburgh Live have captioned the picture “Pro-life demonstrators in the UK” and credited it to Wikimedia Commons. No further location, or context, is provided.

The source picture can be found on Wikipedia and is show below


Wikipedia identify the picture as having been taken in Parliament Square, London on 20 May, 2008 while the House of Commons debated the Embryology Bill. The event was large and featured activists on both sides of the abortion debate.

Edinburgh Live may have used the image because it is available free of charge at Wikipedia

Conclusion: MISLEADING

The Edinburgh Live article relates to 2020 prayer vigils at an Edinburgh clinic where abortion is performed. The picture used by Edinburgh Live shows a political event 12 years previously at a political location 400 miles away; outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

The signage ‘Protect the Family’ / ‘Protect the Embryo’ and ‘Lower the Limit’ do not feature in Scottish vigils and relate to a specific 2008 political event at the House of Commons.

The pro-life crowd shown is between 2 – 4 persons deep behind a crowd control barrier and shows approx 15 people. Scottish vigils tend to be in single file and no barriers are used. Vigils occasionally reach 15 people but this is unusual. The Police do not routinely attend Scottish vigils.

The content and context of the Edinburgh Live picture is therefore rated as MISLEADING