Protesters look ahead

28 May 2008

By The Record

By Anthony Barich
Ten years after abortion with almost no restrictions was finally legalised by the State Parliament, there have been few victories for pro-life campaigners save for the defeat of the ‘cloning Bill’ earlier this month.

Vigilant:: Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth watches proceedings with Rehoboth Christian School students as pro-life MPs are given the William Wilburforce Award. Photo: Anthony Barich

That does not mean, however, that those who have worked tirelessly on the front line should lose heart, pro-life campaigners attending a tenth anniversary commemoration rally on the steps of Parliament were told.
Realistically, maintaining hope can be difficult – Tasmanian federal Senator Guy Barnett told last Thursday’s Rally for Life that over $1.7 million has been spent on over 10,000 second trimester and late-term abortions around the nation by Medicare since 1994.
The national medical rebate scheme funds abortion up to 26 weeks.
But there are signs of hope as well. Visiting campaigner Denise Mountenay, president of pro-life group Canada Silent No More, told the rally that there is a worldwide movement of women hurt by abortion bringing its reality to light.
Her organisation is gathering evidence to file lawsuits against doctors who carry out abortions for the harm done to women, even though, unacceptably, killing the unborn is legally sanctioned.
On Thursday, 25 members of parliament who have consistently campaigned for life in Bills involving cloning, abortion and embryonic research were recognised at Parliament House with the award named after the man who struggled for four decades for the dignity of human beings.
The inaugural William Wilberforce Award was presented to MPs from both sides of politics during a rally that drew over 300 people, including about 30 Rehoboth Christian School students who presented the awards.
A small group of Aquinas College students also attended.
Mrs Mountenay, who could only have one child after her cervix and uterus were damaged by three abortions, told The Record before the rally that although abortion may be legal, it remains unacceptable.
“I believe that abortion should be illegal, because when it is legal it becomes a form of birth control. From my experience of talking to hundreds of women, abortion is not a medical necessity. Pregnancy is not a sickness or a disease,” she said.
Mrs Mountenay, who had abortions at ages 16, 26 and 27, has since become a Christian.
She says that regardless of abortion’s legality, it still harms women physically, emotionally and spiritually, aside from the crucial taking of the unborn’s life.
Mrs Mountenay, who has held workshops on induced abortion’s damage to reproductive health at the United Nations for the past four years, told The Record that this movement grows as more women like her “come out of the closet” and share the pain of abortion, and reveal the link to breast cancer, which she says up to 20 scientific studies have found.
“The first time my mother said it’s ok to abort, the second time, after my boyfriend pressured me, my doctor said ‘it’s just a clump of tissue’. He totally lied to me,” said Mrs Mountenay, who broke down when recalling to the rally the horror of abortion for herself and her friends.
“So now I want to expose the lies and rhetoric of the abortion providers.”