Restoration of Legal Protection for the Unborn Must Remain our Primary Focus
Melbourne Young Liberal member, Stephanie Ross, recently wrote an article for The Age, in which she was highly critical of the work of the Australian pro-life movement. (Click here to read the article.) Richard Grant responds:
In her article entitled”Burning Men at the Stake not the Answer” (The Age, 7/11/2016), Stephanie Ross denigrates the wonderfully successful life saving work of longstanding pro-life groups such as the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and the Victorian Right To Life Association. She blithely implies that these groups have been abject failures and makes the amazingly misguided observation that “the focus of modern pro-life advocates should not be about criminalising abortion”.
In so doing, Stephanie has suddenly switched from being potentially a champion youth pro-life advocate to the ignominy of becoming a dangerously misguided arch-enemy of the unborn.
Stephanie contends that pro-life advocacy had gradually “become out of touch at the best of times and extremist at worst”. I’m sorry to disappoint you Stephanie, but I am one of the people who has been heavily involved for many years in the very same pro-life groups that you are obviously pointing the finger at.
Guilty as Charged
I plead guilty to witnessing for life and offering help to mothers outside abortion businesses every working day for over 20 years. I did this as a member of the Helpers, a group you portray as being an “unrepresentative minority who aggressively picketed abortion clinics, shamed distressed women and threatened eternal damnation”. I must ask some of the 350 mothers who turned away from abortion after receiving offers of assistance from members of our group whether they agree with this description of the Helpers’ mode of operation and behaviour.
Stephanie’s colourful terminology and her ill conceived harangue of the Helpers eerily echoes the grossly misleading and defamatory allegations made by abortion business leaders and their pro-death hangers on. It is a tragedy that Stephanie has been so duped by the mistruths emanating from the mouths of pro-death forces that she stoops to so savagely and unfairly belittle the Helpers’ prayerful life-saving apostolate in the pages of such a rabidly pro-abortion newspaper as the “Age’.
I also plead guilty to my very active 20 years involvement from the 1970’s, including 8 years as Political Action Chairman,with the Right To life Association which Stephanie criticises for “promoting a hard edged political agenda”. Apparently campaigning to turf out pro-death politicians who turn a blind eye to, or actively endorse, the merciless slaughter of the unborn is too radical for Stephanie for the reason that such tactics are “extremely unpopular with the Australian voting public”.
In another era, an English statesman named William Wilberforce was despised by the vast majority of the local population, as well as by many of his fellow parliamentarians, for leading the forces which opposed the evil slavery trade. What status does Wilberforce now hold in the annals of history?
No pro-lifer worth his or her salt would ever vote for a candidate for public office who is pro- abortion. Being pro-abortion should automatically disqualify a person from holding public office, no matter how good this candidate’s policies and abilities may be in other important areas such as the economy or social welfare. I’m sure Stephanie would never vote for a candidate who was in support of the legal right for a citizen to harm or kill another person who is outside the womb. Failure to extend this principle to the unborn is the height of discrimination.
Victoria: the State to be …. aborted
If we had all managed to adhere to the dictum “do not do to others what you would not want to have done to yourself”, then the unborn would not now be subjected to the ultimate discrimination of having had their legal right to life stripped from them by our elected representatives. Now in this State of Victoria a baby’s prospects of surviving in the womb depends entirely on whether or not he or she is wanted by their mother.The result is that there is now wholesale slaughter of unwanted unborn children every day in Victoria, all carried out in the name of “choice“.
Our society’s ready acceptance of abortion has devastating flow-on consequences. Mother Teresa of Calcutta famously said that
“if we can legally allow a mother to kill even her own child in her own womb, how can we tell other people not to kill each other. Any society which permits abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use any violence to get what they want”.
The truth is that once we learn to lose respect for any part of human life eventually we we lose respect for all of life. We only have to look back at what happened in places like Nazi Germany. Now in Victoria not only has abortion been decriminalised but there are also strenuous efforts to legalise euthanasia of the infirm and the elderly and the right to life of other defenceless human beings such as disabled newborn infants is also increasingly under threat.
Stephanie contends that the hard-edged political agenda adopted by pro-life groups “turned the public’s mind to the dark days of back yard abortions and a theological rigidity”. For heaven’s sake Stephanie. Are you really prepared to resurrect the highly discriminatory and discredited argument that abortion should be decriminalised so that a mother who wants to have her baby aborted is not forced to access a so-called backyard abortionist?
An intrinsically evil act should never be decriminalised so that the person who wants to perform that illegal act does not run a greater risk of being harmed while the act is being committed. Laws are enacted for a reason – usually to protect the vulnerable and defenceless from the powerful who may wish to do them harm. Protection of infants from abortion fits into that category.
A pro-lifer should be opposed to all abortions, both front and backyard, no matter what the prevailing circumstances. Thankfully, obstetrical experts maintain that today,with good and appropriate medical care, all mothers can be helped safely through their pregnancies.This includes the occasions when a mother needs to be operated on during pregnancy due to a life threatening condition, a situation which sometimes sadly entails the unavoidable loss of her child.
The “right to life” is the most fundamental of all human rights and must be accorded precedence in law over any other human right including the euphemistically called” woman’s right to control her own body”.Without life all other rights are meaningless and non-existent.
We must never lose sight of the fact that God is the Author of all life and that He has warned us that “whatever we do to the least of His little ones that we do unto Him”. There can be no wavering from the “theological rigidity” which reveals the truth about God’s overwhelming love for each and every one of us and which also reminds us that it is God’s desire that we love, not harm, each other. As all human life is sourced from God, it follows therefore that the right to life of all human beings, including the unborn, is sacrosanct and inviolable.
The Ultimate Child Abuse
Stephanie contends that the focus of modern pro-life advocacy should not be about criminalising abortion but lowering the rate of abortion by addressing causational issues and promoting alternatives. This is where Stephanie has really got it wrong. For as long as the unborn are not protected under the law, and until abortion laws are scrupulously enforced, Stephanie’s proposals would have virtually no impact on the abortion rate.
It is ironic that a main thrust of Stephanie’s article is to compare the strategies used in the past by pro-lifers with the strategies employed by modern day campaigners against domestic violence.The stark reality is that abortion is the ultimate in child abuse and domestic violence. There is nothing more alien to human nature, womanhood and family life than for a mother to take the life of her own child in her own womb.
We can all draw great consolation from our knowledge that whatever wrongs we have done in life we have only to be sincerely repentant for our sins to be fully forgiven by our infinitely merciful God. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that the destruction of a child by abortion is an abomination in the sight of God.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta provides the following explanation as to why God is so offended by abortion –
” The greatest destroyer of peace in the world is abortion. For when a child in the womb is killed are we not crucifying Christ? When a mother has an abortion, when a father agrees to do away with his unwanted unborn child, when a doctor aborts a baby then each one is crucifying the Divine Christ Child”.
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