subscribe btndonate btn

Friday, 19 August 2016 00:23

The Hypocrisy & Lunacy of our Buffer-Zone Laws

Written by


In contrast to the life-saving work of the Helpers, this one abortion business in East Melbourne has exterminated the lives of over 350,000 defenceless unborn children since 1972. It is of some comfort to us to know, however, that the babies killed there since 1993 have not died alone because of the Helpers' prayerful presence each day outside this place of the modern day Calvary. On 2nd May 2016 there was an enforced 3 months pause in the Helpers' activities. Then, on the 4th August 2016, a 50 year old mother of 13 children and a 76 year old father of 6 took up the Helpers' customary positions on the footpath outside the East Melbourne abortion establishment. While Des stood in silent witness, Kathy prepared to offer to anyone approaching the abortion building information about the help which is available. Shortly after, Kathy interacted briefly with a young woman who then proceeded with her male companion through the front gate of the abortion building. Almost immediately two police officers who were nearby went over to Kathy and, after a brief discussion, arrested her. Kathy was then driven to a local police station where she was charged and bailed on her own undertaking. Yes, you read it right. A mother of 13 has been charged by police for offering information about available help to a stranger, a gesture which would normally be considered a random act of kindness rather than a criminal act . How has such lunacy come about in this State of Victoria? It happened like this: Up until October 2008, it was a criminal offence to kill an unborn baby in Victoria except in exceptional circumstances. Then, in that month, an Act was passed in the Victorian Parliament which declared that killing a baby in the womb in Victoria was no longer criminal.

This Act stripped from all Victorian unborn children the most fundamental of all human rights - the unqualified protection of their lives under the law. Effectively, a death sentence was handed down by Parliament for all unborn children who are unwanted by their mothers. Next, on 24th November 2015, due to pressure from the abortion industry and their pro-abortion collaborators in both Parliament and the health sector, the Victorian Parliament made it a crime to offer help to a mother approaching or leaving an abortion establishment. This new law, which took effect on 2nd May 2016, created for Helpers a no-entry "exclusion zone" of 150 metres around the entry of all Victorian abortion establishments, including abortion-providing public hospitals. It is now a crime for Pregnancy Helpers to enter within any 150 metres abortion zone in Victoria for the purpose of undertaking their normal lifesaving activities. To do so would risk a fine of up to $18,200 and/or 12 months in jail. This just for offering life-saving information to mothers and fathers. How disproportionate is this punishment, even if there is any justification whatsoever for criminalizing the act of offering information about the help available? Even seasoned criminals often receive lighter sentences than this for crimes of extreme violence.

Parliament may as well have gone for broke and called for the sentence of capital punishment, and confiscation of all assets, to apply to any Helper who has the temerity to offer helpful information to mothers who are under pressure to have their babies killed by abortion. After all, the Victorian Parliament has already handed down the death penalty to the very same "unwanted" unborn children that the Helpers are striving to rescue. HOW THE WHEEL HAS TURNED! KILLING THE BABY IS NO LONGER A CRIME, BUT SEEKING TO HELP MOTHER AND BABY IS! What was not so long ago an unspeakable crime against humanity- the excruciatingly painful tearing apart, limb by limb, of a living human being by an abortionist- is now widely regarded in society as a normal and morally acceptable health service for women. What is particularly galling is the sheer hypocrisy displayed by the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews. When, under pressure from left wing unions, Daniel Andrews and his socialist Labor colleagues managed to get rid of the "move on" laws which had been introduced by the previous Liberal government, the Premier loudly proclaimed that "the right to protest is a fundamental right of all Victorians".

However, this proclamation of the Premier looks hollow given that he has been a driving force behind the Abortion Exclusion Zone legislation. The reality is that Mr Andrews did not really intend for this "fundamental right to protest" to apply to all Victorians but only to those whom Mr Andrews approves of. Certainly the babies who meet their deaths as a result of the decriminalizing of abortion will never have the opportunity to protest, and those who want to use peaceful methods to try to protect these babies have had their right to freedom of speech and expression severely curtailed. Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins said in her parliamentary speech opposing the abortion exclusion zone bill that "at the time that the move-on laws were repealed, the Victorian Attorney-General, Martin Pakula, stated that "Victoria doesn't need Bjelke-Petersen style laws designed to silence dissent and peaceful protest". What a feeble and short sighted government- because this is exactly what this bill is about.So it is okay to be a union protester proclaiming your objection to unfair and unsafe work practices, but hold a prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic, and not only will you be moved on, but you will be hit with a fine or threatened with imprisonment of up to 12 months. It is also okay to block access to businesses and hold violent protests for and against racism but if these abortion exclusion zone laws are not clarified Bernie Finn's peaceful March for the Babies becomes illegal".

A key clause in the Exclusion Zone Law prohibits "communication about abortion in a manner reasonably likely to cause a person or persons anxiety or distress". How many people can honestly say that they would regard Kathy's act of offering information to someone is reasonably likely to cause that person anxiety or distress? Only a few weeks ago Kathy greeted a newborn baby whose mother had gratefully accepted the help Kathy offered her outside a Melbourne abortion business some months earlier. What an invidious position the police would have been in if the woman who Kathy interacted with on 4th August had stopped to discuss with Kathy what kind of help was available! If this had occurred, would the attending police have been obliged to break up any conversation that ensued, telling the woman that Kathy had just broken the law by offering her information? The sheer lunacy of this law defies belief.

On a more positive note, we are very optimistic that this outrageously unjust and discriminatory legislation will be overturned in the High Court of Australia on constitutional grounds. Your prayers for the success of Kathy's court appearances, beginning with the Magistrates Court in December this year, would be greatly appreciated. Finally, it would be remiss of me not to express my heartfelt admiration and thanks to Kathy and Des for the enormous courage they displayed in risking arrest for the purpose of testing the validity of this insidious law. As Des did not end up being arrested, our experienced legal team will be able to focus solely on the defence of Kathy. To help cover the legal expenses which will be incurred, a legal defence fund has been established. The total cost of the legal work undertaken is expected to run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, as you could imagine, your generosity in making a donation to this fund is very much appreciated. 

Richard Grant

Retired economist, pro-life veteran

Richard, a 73 year old married man with 7 daughters, 2 sons and and 19 grandchildren, has been heavily involved in the pro-life cause in a voluntary capacity since the 1970’s. Richard was Political Action Chairman of “Right To Life Victoria” from 1978 to 1985 and has, from 1980 to the present time, spread the pro-life message on hundreds of occasions through his speaking engagements within the State of Victoria, particularly to Church congregations. A Labour Market economist by profession, Richard ceased full-time work 20 years ago so that he was in a better position to join up with a former school colleague, Dave Forster, who is the founder of the Melbourne Helpers, in witnessing for life daily outside abortion businesses.