The Bubble Zone
At the beginning of 2015, the Victorian ALP Government rightly removed the Coalition’s “move on” laws from the statute book. Rightly so, as the laws were intended really to prevent unions protesting. The laws were seen as an unfair restriction on free speech, with Attorney General, Martin Pakula, proclaiming that:
“Victoria doesn’t need Bjelke-Petersen-style laws designed to silence dissent and outlaw peaceful protests.”
At year’s end, a total back flip by Victorian Labor with its MPs denied a free vote and totally under the thumb of Emily’s List. Why not a conscience vote? After all the issue, like 2008, was about abortion on demand and not about a mother’s health.
The Orwellian entitled bill, The Public Health (Safe Access) Amendment Bill, creates 150-meter zones around facilities that provide abortions on demand (abortions for non-medical reasons), making it unlawful to engage in acts within the zones that may cause anxiety or distress to mothers and others entering or leaving the premises. It came into effect in May. Nowhere in the world has an extreme exclusion zone of 150 metres has been imposed. Buffer zones of lesser restrictions have struck down by the courts in various states of the USA.
The Victorian Parliament has made offers of charity (e.g. finance) criminal acts and voted effectively to try and end the ability of pro-lifers to offer help to mothers entering / leaving abortuaries.
Proponents of the bill presented false charges against The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants (a group that prays and offers help outside abortuaries), claiming they harass and intimidate women. In reality The Helpers pray for the mothers and babies, while one or two experienced life advocates offer help to the mothers entering the premises, speaking quietly and compassionately to interested mothers. The principal venue in Melbourne where the alleged harassment is supposed to happen is the Fertility Control Clinic (FCC) in Wellington Parade, East Melbourne. The Helpers have been there for 23 years. Since 1972 over 300,000 young Australians, or 20 plus per day, have had their lives cruelly terminated at this abortuary alone, let alone 100 others in Victoria. Clearly a massacre of stunning proportions.
Over the years, I have been there many times, and have never witnessed any harassment or intimidation. If such behaviour occurred (and the people making the charges allege it has been the norm for over 23 years), there would have been many court convictions. In fact there have been none. Repeat none.
Not only this, the abortuary has refused many suggestions to install CCTV equipment to capture any claimed activity. But no, they haven’t. Why not? Simply put, there is no adverse activity to capture.
We have learnt that there is a ‘Safe Street’ camera on the light pole on the opposite, MCG side, of the road from the FCC and these images are available to the Victoria Police. Last year The Helpers were denounced in the media by the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle. He said that we were “vile” and “gaming the system”, insinuating that we would only behave ourselves when Council Officers came down to check on us. Seems he could have checked his camera and shown our claimed misbehaviour to the news. Why didn’t he? Because there is nothing adverse to show.
In the parliamentary debates, The Helpers were maligned, being accused of behaviour they never indulge in, and without any evidence being produced to support the charges.
Comment from the police is that our actions over the past two decades have been carried out lawfully when it was acknowledged that the disputes between the abortion business and The Helpers has bubbled on for many years without requiring Police intervention. So we know that this new law has come about because those who support and profit from abortion have not been able to find us guilty and now need to move the goal posts.
This legislation was based on a heap of lies and driven by the profitable Fertility Control Clinic. Abortion kills preborn babies in a very cruel and painful way. The UN Rights of the Child Convention states, “The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.” Why are many MPs, the abortuaries and the bulk of the media opposed to the UN Rights of the Child?
The FCC abortuary case in The Supreme Court last year against The Melbourne City Council for alleged failure to ‘deal with us’, failed spec tactually. The Judge virtually said it was a case of ‘no case to answer’.
The key reasons for prayer vigils outside abortuaries:
1. Thou shall not kill should apply to everyone, everywhere. Why should mothers be exempt from this? Why should they be allowed to have their babies cruelly dismembered, limb by limb? Pro choice should mean that the baby chooses, not the mother choosing to kill her child. There is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child, a murder by the mother herself. How mothers can claim to be against violence, particularly within the family, but support the violence against their unborn child, is beyond me.
2. Quite, prayerful help at a chamber of death or praying the dying into death, such as an abortuary, has always been part of the Catholic tradition. The Helpers show nothing but love for the mother in her situation of need. In Sydney, The Helpers have saved well over 1,000 lives, in Melbourne 300 plus. Would you have preferred The Helpers not to have been there? Not one mother has regretted changing her mind – but would not have done so without visible evidence of prayerful people offering an alternative near the clinic.
3. We don’t only see a mother walking past to have a so called ‘medical procedure’, but we know that a second life is also passing us by, and that this moment is that unborn person’s last chance to ‘make it’ here on earth. Finally, any violence inside or outside an abortion on demand abortuary is, of course, indefensible, and so too is Planned Parenthood’s profiteering through the sale of aborted foetus body parts.
4. We are akin to a last minute intervention or appeal to a U.S. State Governor re a death sentence being carried out because not every abortion client is firm in their decision, knows the consequences of abortion on demand or has the necessary support to continue the pregnancy. Contrary to the breathtaking pack of lies told by the FCC and which were the matrix on which the recent gag legislation was woven, The Helpers endure abuse, intimidation, threats and assaults whilst praying for all the mothers and the unfortunate souls within the abortion business and offering help to mothers.
5. Post-abortive on demand mothers commonly lament in public forums that if only there had been someone outside the clinic to offer them help, they would never have gone ahead with the abortion. The Helpers in no way shape or form are stupid enough to exert pressure when offering help to mothers who are not interested. But the Helpers must make the offer to many abortuary customers because we don’t know who is ambivalent until we speak to them. Much like an election leaflet handout outside a polling booth.
How do we begin to have a respectful conversation about abortion when most MPs won’t talk to us? Perhaps it is all too hard, too messy, too confronting, so let’s keep quiet; no protesting please, is their approach. Besides ‘I (Labor MP) might lose my pre selection if I go against Emily’s List’. The essence of protest is to make us uncomfortable, and while there is room for a mainstream and adult conversation about those other precious creatures, the unborn; tens of thousands of whom disappear without trace each year, some who are beyond four months in gestation- not to mention the targeting of those with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. In other words, no one is allowed even to suggest that the pro-choice argument might be morally wrong or contradictory.
The Greens: Bob Brown arrested in ‘exclusion zone’.
Former Greens leader Bob Brown was arrested on 25 January, 2016, after protesting against logging (The Mercury), 25/1/16). He had been in an exclusion zone at Lapoinya in north-west Tasmania, and failed to comply with a police order to move on. He faces a fine of up to $10,000 and has appealed to The High Court.
Family Voice Tasmania director Jim Collins said the incident demonstrates The Greens double standards.
“Everybody knows Bob is passionate about the environment,” he said. “But where was his objection in 2013 when all Tasmania Greens MPs voted for a draconian law prohibiting any form of protest- even silent prayer- in an exclusion zone around abortion on demand facilities in Tasmania? If Greens activists dislike restrictions on their freedom to protest, removing abortion clinic exclusion zones should be on their priority list too”!
“It’s justified and compelling that we make this stand, otherwise we’re in a country where we’re going to see the serial prohibition on people simply expressing their beliefs in the democratic system.”
The Coalition: Leaving aside the brave Coalition MPs and three Independents who voted against the bill, I am stunned that the rest of the Coalition want to ape Emily’s List and so called ‘progressive’ causes as a way back to government and were so lazy as to not come down to the abortuary to see for themselves and to discuss the legislation with The Helpers.
Truths and Half-Truths
The claim by the FCC that The Helpers ‘spout frightening mistruths’ is also untrue. The brochures and information we offer to mothers are factual; covering foetal development and the physical and psychological complications of abortion on demand as stated in our handouts.
That life begins at conception and that every abortion kills a human being, are scientific and biological facts. In the East Melbourne Abortuary Patient Information pamphlet they describe the abortion procedure as ‘involving the removal of the lining of the uterus by suction and then checking that the uterus is empty with a spoon shaped instrument called curettage’. They fail to further explain that this process often involves the dismembering of the conscious body, limb by limb, of a living human being which is then sucked out from the womb and discarded. Some later term failed abortions are left to die whilst on a shelf.
Their pamphlet also claims that abortion on demand is a ‘safe procedure’. Abortion on demand is anything but safe for the child. They die, cruelly and painfully. Abortion is also harmful for the mother. Studies have shown that a high percentage of mothers who have had abortions suffer varying levels of post abortion grief and trauma at some stage of their lives. In her book, the late Charlotte Dawson said that following her abortion “I felt a shift, maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression”.
The Trend to Taking Offence
This new law follows a disturbing trend: the trend to criminalize actions if individuals find them offensive, instead of judging the acts objectively. That is the position Archbishop Julian Porteous and the other Australian Bishops are taking in regarding their pastoral letter on marriage but are being sued. The letter is very moderate, explaining the view of marriage almost universally accepted for thousands of years.
Regarding the people who pray and offer help outside abortion on demand facilities, no case was made that their behaviour is objectively wrong. Instead, the Victorian Parliament decision was based on false charges and the law is worded in a way that makes the subjective judgement of individuals the criterion to be used in deciding whether actions are criminal. Sex Party members can gather and protest anywhere they like so long as it’s about sex. How come? Because it’s not about abortion on demand!
Not so long ago, members of the medical profession took the Hippocratic Oath which specifically contains the phrase ‘and especially I will not aid a woman to procure an abortion’. How things have changed in the last few decades! In Victoria, under the guise of ‘choice’ (a totally meaningless euphemism), the unborn child has been placed in the same category as Jews were placed in the holocaust and black people during the slavery era. All of these human beings either were, or are, treated as legal non-entities, able to be disposed of at will if unwanted by those exercising control over them.
I support ‘freedom of choice’. In fact I would extend it so that the child gets a choice to live or die.
We now look back in horror at what happened during the holocaust and wonder how the people of that time could have let it happen. When the day arrives, as it surely will, when legalized abortion on demand is consigned to the history books, future generations will also be asking the question: How could they have allowed this to happen? Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use any violence to get what they want.
by Marcus L'Estrange