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[Note: This article was updated to include a more informative screenshot from Emma Husar's Facebook page.] In the wake of the passing of another  'Safe-Access' zones bill,  a NSW MP has sanctioned the idea that violence against life advocates is acceptable. Emma Husar, Labor's member for Lindsay, made the comment in a thread on her public Facebook page. Husar - or an aide who runs her Facebook account - allowed this comment on her page: "...Anyone who gets in their faces to make a point needs a high five in the face with a brick. It's a horrible, s***** thing to do. Leave these women alone," to which Husar replied, "Agree." If Husar was referring to the end of the comment - that sidewalk advocacy is a 's*****  thing to do', then this should have been made clear. She's wrong, of course - sidewalk advocacy is a loving thing to do. It's the last hope for women who are ambivalent about their abortion, and who feel they have no choice but to go through with one. To publicly agree to a comment suggesting violence is very irresponsible for anyone - but especially for a member of parliament, in a conversation about a highly emotional topic. Members of the pro-life community are no strangers to false accusations, violent threats and even actual violence being perpetrated against them. It is only a few years ago that an elderly man was violently attacked outside an abortion facility in Albury, NSW. Yet, during the debate, parliamentarians continued the false narrative that pro-lifers engage in bullying tactics to 'shame women' and 'shove their ideas onto others.'

Conservative MPs Fail Mothers and Babies

New South Wales voted last week to join Tasmania, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT in setting up, what is in effect, a censorship law designed to stop pro-lifers from offering help to vulnerable women. This outcome was particularly disappointing for conservative voters who have long held confidence in the Nationals to maintain Christian values. National MP Trevor Kahn betrayed his conservative, pro-life base to co-sponsor the bill with the rabidly pro-abortion Penny Sharpe. Many Liberal MPs, also ostensibly conservative voted in favour of the bill. NSW Premer, Gladys Berejiklian, who had previously described the law as 'flawed', gave her party a conscience vote - this was denied to the Labor Party - but voted in favour of the bill. All 19 amendments to the bill were rejected. The final vote was 61 to 18. and the MPs who stood for life - a counter-cultural stance in Australia's contemporary climate - were like a shining light in that dark, dim place. The pro-life speeches were very good, with Minister for Women, Tanya Davies, defending sidewalk advocacy and reaffirming the fact that pro-lifers are in no way confrontational or intimidating. Liberal MP Dominic Perrottet, gave a particularly good speech which can be found in full at his website:

  .... It is fundamentally a crude attempt to sanitise our public places To silence those who refuse to turn a blind eye to the value of both mother and child. And to remove from our public spaces any trace of the witness that is a daily reminder of the dignity of every human life. Speaker, it is no surprise the collectivists opposite have a binding party position on this issue. Their ideology is rooted in the very idea of trampling freedom, denying agency and erasing individual rights in favour of the state. What a damning indictment it is that a party which cannot even offer its own members internal freedom is now in the business of denying the freedoms to others.

David and Goliath

The High Court challenge to exclusion-zones, which is already underway, initially involved the Attorneys-General of both Tasmania and Victoria, since the law was violated by the appellants in both of those states. Both cases are being heard together since the law is very similar in these states, as distinct from the bubble-zone law in the ACT, which has its own features. [See more about a recent ACT case here.] However, a more recent development is the intervention from the Attorneys-General of other Australian states: New South Wales, Queensland, WA and SA as well as the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth have all made submissions to the High Court regarding our case. [Progress of the submissions can be followed here.] Michael Quinlan, dean of Sydney's Notre Dame University, explains that states without exclusion-zones won't be able to automatically introduce them if the High Court challenge is unsuccessful and that states with similar legislation would have to remove existing exclusion-zones - and redraft them -  if the challenge is successful:

Various State AGs getting involved in the Clubb/Preston case is disappointing but it’s not unusual. In constitutional cases, states have a right to appear in the High Court. The state may see this case as a state’s rights issue. If the High Court finds the legislation unconstitutional it probably impacts on other state laws; it stops a state from choosing to pass laws which restrict free speech and probably not just around clinics. If Clubb and Preston lose, a state without exclusion zones would need to prepare and pass a bill in the usual way. If the present Tasmanian or Victorian legislation is read down, such a state will have details about how to draft a constitutional bill, which will be in the written judgment in the way it reads down the existing laws.

Life Advocacy Has a Long History of Success

Exclusion-zone laws protect abortion businesses and allow them to continue to slaughter the innocent while traumatising women and men for life. The laws have been introduced despite the embarrassingly meagre evidence of harassment and intimidation which is alleged to have been perpetrated by the pro-life community. And it is also despite the overwhelming evidence to support the effectiveness of pro-life outreach. Abortion advocates consistently disregard this evidence. Living, breathing babies, children (and now some adults) are the proof! These are the children whose mothers accepted help outside Australian abortion facilities. This can only happen when life advocates are allowed to peacefully witness, pray and offer help to these women in their time of need. The process is underway to gather totals from around Australia, but some of the numbers already available are:

  • 600 women helped, and babies saved in Sydney;
  • 20 mothers helped and babies saved at Croydon, Victoria,
  • 300 mothers helped and babies saved at East Melbourne.
  • 24 mothers helped and babies saved at Albury, NSW.

  The pictures below say a thousand words about life advocacy: [from left] Paul Hanrahan with one of the Sydney babies; Kathy with one of the Croydon babies; Anna von Marburg with one of the Albury babies. But, due to the climate of hostility against the pro-life community, due to misrepresentation and outright lies, these numbers will dwindle. And politicians like Emma Husar, not content with condoning Australia's worst human rights abuse, simply highlight the truth about the abortion industry's violent secrets. 

Published in Freedom of Speech

26 years ago, I had an abortion here in Melbourne. Even back then, it was quite easy to obtain an abortion. I told the abortionist I was about to buy a business so I couldn't have the baby. That was enough reason for the abortionist to classify my reason for the abortion as ‘mental health’. The business deal fell through a few weeks after the abortion. The irony of this didn’t dawn on me until many years later. I sacrificed my baby’s life for a business that never eventuated. There were no 'sidewalk' counsellors back then. 26 years later, I have suffered indescribable psychological trauma as a result of that abortion.

Published in Abortion

World-renowned speaker, Jason Evert, was in Melbourne this week for a series of talks on the true nature of love. Jason has spoken to more than one million people about the virtue of chastity and has been a keynote speaker at five World Youth Days. He has written several books, including “Theology of the Body for Teens” and “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul,” and has studied counselling and theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was my great pleasure to meet him and ask him a few questions about how a return to chastity can put the brakes on the abortion culture.

Published in Abortion

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.  
Published in Right to Life
Monday, 18 July 2016 04:30

(Pro) Life Before Buffer Zones

Guest post by Anne O'Dwyer. Anne is a Melbourne mother and grandmother who has been involved in many areas of pro-life work. In this article, she writes of her experiences at the Croydon abortion facility, where she witnessed faithfully for many years until "safe-access zones" were established in 2016: In 1998 David Grundmann brought his grisly late term abortion business to Croydon Victoria. At the time I was a volunteer with Right to life. Living close to the proposed facility, I was asked to form a small group to pray and offer help to the girls and women entering the facility. I had undertaken training in support of pregnant women and had worked on phone and face to face counselling on a volunteer basis since 1991. However, to actually see these girls and women at the coal face, sometimes accompanied by partners or family, on the point of actually taking this step to end the life they were carrying, had a deep affect.

Published in Right to Life