The annual Victorian pro-life rally the March for the Babies took place yesterday attracting around 600 activists from around the state. A counter protest orgainised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism one of Melbourne’s local Antifa groups could only muster two dozen people in opposition. The March started from Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens before arriving on Spring Street outside Victoria’s Parliament House.
The March is held in October every year on the anniversary of the 2008 Victorian Abortion Law Reform Bill which legalized abortion in the state up until the point of birth. Ten years on over 200,000 have been killed in Victoria through legal abortion. The March is chaired and led by Liberal state MP Bernie Finn.
The march was made up of a wide variety pro-life groups including pregnancy counseling services, local churches and minor political parties such as the Democratic Labour Party and Australian Conservatives. Blue and pink ballons and empty prams were some of the visuals employed by the organizers to signal who they were there for.
Victoria has a state election on 24th November so pro-life activists have a small window to elect pro-life candidates given that there has been no rollback in Victoria’s abortion laws during the past decade. In fact this state parliament has seen abortion laws become even more draconian with 150 meter exclusion enacted outside abortion clinics to prevent pro-life activism.
During the march to Parliament House activists were heckled by a pro-abortion male who yelled ‘if you’re pro-life get one’. The female pro-life marchers responded by stating they were pro-life because they did not want to see alive and kicking babies killed. The marchers had a heavy private security and Victoria Police protection contingent.
Once everyone was gathered at the portable stage on Spring St the formalities began with the signing of the national anthem. The first speaker Lois Dean from Pregnancy Counseling Australia had three Antifa interruptions by activists who were able to break through police and security.
One well known male local Antifa activist yelled out ‘kill them! kill them all!’. When security confronted him he fell to the ground and played dead, he was eventually handcuffed by police. The other interruptions were two women pretending to be crying babies chanting ‘our bodies our rights’ and the other was a loud police siren being blasted into the crowd. Other chants from the small Antifa gathering were “free abortions on demand” and “Murder all the babies!”
Other pro-life MPs spoke Dr Rachel Carling Jenkins currently an Independent MLC and a candidate for the seat of Werribee at the state election and Neil Angus the state Liberal MP for the seat of Forest Hill. One of the more touching speakers was 15 year old Anna whose mother became pregnant through rape but could not go through with the procedure, she told the crowd that every life is worth living no matter how difficult. The crowd also heard a Pro-Life Anthem sung by Kerry Parker which she dedicated to the babies.
The keynote speaker was special international guest United States Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke who is currently in Australia as part of a speaking tour. He talked about the battles to protect the unborn in the United States and what we can do here in Australia in our fight.
Victoria Police deemed the march area Designated Area which meant they could search anyone without reason who entered the area. They uncovered two people carrying knives.
The only mainstream media outlet who attended the March and filed a report was Nine News which refreshingly accurately reported that peaceful and well reasoned nature of the pro life activists and the aggression of the Antifa counter protestors.
A Rally for Life took place in Brisbane yesterday as well which is considering an abortion bill that is very similar to Victoria’s 2008 in legalizing abortion until birth.
While the day was one of solace it was also a day of hope. Bernie Finn finished by stating he wanted to come back in 10 years time to celebrate their success at ending abortion in the state and seeing some of the babies saved in the crowd. But given in Victoria the major parties’ leadership unwillingness to protect the unborn over the past ten years the pro-life movement still has a large challenge in front of it.
The Unshackled’s highlights and interviews from the March will be uploaded in the coming days.
Photo Credit: LifeChoice Australia