The 10th anniversary of the March for the Babies Victoria took place in Melbourne this Saturday afternoon. It has been held every year since 2009 on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of the passing of the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.
This legislation allows abortions to be performed up until birth in Victoria and also removes health practitioners’ right to conscientiously object to assisting in abortions.
Victoria’s model abortion-decriminalisation legislation was steamrolled through parliaments in other Australian states and territories. Victoria and other states since then have passed 150-metre exclusion zones around abortion clinics, making illegal the sidewalk-counseling by pro-life activists that has saved countless babies.
The annual march has always seen a large gathering of pro-life advocates and groups from around Victoria, including interstate guests who make the pilgrimage to offer their support.
The State of Pro-Life Activism
There was renewed hope and optimism in the air amongst marchers this year as pro-lifers achieved a small victory up in New South Wales. Victorian-inspired abortion-decrimilsation legislation was sprung on the people of that state without any warning or consultation.
However, a grassroots pro-life movement was born overnight, led by Right to Life NSW and LifeChoice Australia. Along with pro-life MPs in the NSW Liberal Party room standing up and fighting rough and hard, significant amendments were made to the legislation so that the nearly born could not be killed through late-term abortions.
The march is led every year by the President/Chairman of the March for the Babies organisation, Liberal MLC Bernie Finn. He has represented Melbourne’s Western Metropolitian Region in the Upper House of Victoria since 2006. He voted against the 2008 bill and also recently voted against Victoria’s new euthanasia legislation which was passed in 2017 and came into effect in June 2019.
The march always begins at Victoria’s Treasury Gardens but took an extended route this year through Melbourne’s CBD – first down Flinders Street, then up Russell Street, before turning into Collins Street and eventually back onto Spring Street to Victoria’s Parliament House.
Traffic was held up by the Victoria Police escort so the 3,600-strong march could pass through in safety. Despite there only being at most a 10-minute delay for off-peak motorists (less than the hours that Extinction Rebellion held up peak-hour traffic for this week), some motorists yelled obscenities at marchers.
The marchers were able to reach the Sound Stage outside Parliament easily and peacefully with the vocal counter-protestors, few in number and made up primarily of Victorian Socialists, Socialist Alternative and Reason Party members, kept well away.
Bernie Finn as well as leading the march was the MC for speakers. Neil Angus, Liberal MP for Forest Hill was also present at the march but did not speak.
Throughout the formalities, the marchers were blessed to hear from the Daughters of the King choir which sang Advance Australia Fair, Thankful and Amazing Grace.
The marchers heard from Nat Smith, one of the NSW Liberal MPs who fought for the abortion bill amendments. He gave a fiery speech deploring the barbarity of the practice of abortion in our society.
A personal story was shared by Heidi Bui about how she became pressured into having an abortion during an unplanned pregnancy by her boyfriend in her teenage years. She spoke of the hurt that abortion causes in the mothers who become victims of it. She is now a proud mother, married to that same teenage boyfriend.
Rebecca Gosper from LifeChoice Australia shared her recent of experience of being subjected to misogynistic trolling by alleged “feminists” due to her pro-life work. A pro-life conservative event she was speaking at was deplatformed by the North Ryde RSL. She also spoke of the increasing youthfulness of the pro-life movement.
Bernie Finn, in between all the speeches, repeatedly issued a call to arms to marchers: Don’t rest until Victoria’s abortion legislation changes, remember the babies we are fighting for, and recruit a new person to the pro-life movement for next year’s march. The crowd was also generous in its donations with many large notes being dropped into the collection bags.
The new secretary of the March for the Babies, Moira Deeming, also spoke about her own journey from teenage feminist to loving mother. Moira originally rose to prominence as one of the mummawarriors against the Safe Schools program, but is now politically active on a whole range of issues.
Other pro-life activists and alt-media present included Marijke Rancie, also known as Political Posting Mumma, CultureWatch blogger Bill Muehlenberg, YouTuber Dia Betran, TR News personality Avi Yemini, former Australian Conservatives candidate Kevin Bailey, City of Casey Councillor Rosalie Crestani, the local Proud Boys, Matty’s Modern Life and Kathy Clubb assisting with LifeChoice Australia’s own media coverage.
The counter-protestors eventually ran out of abuse and voice and were gone by the time the official march had concluded, with everyone able to leave in safety. Victoria Police made one arrest and kepr other aggressive agitators away. The crowd thanked the police for their professionalism throughout the day.
Three leftist women interrupted the speeches with erratic abuse, which even included Nazi accusations; a bizarre statement, given the Nazis supported abortion, euthanasia and killing the disabled. The crowd was multi-ethnic with Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Sri Lankan and Pacific Islanders clearly visible. These women were gently removed by the private security for the event.
Today demonstrated there is clearly a strong pro-life movement in the state of Victoria. But with three years to go until the next state election, and Melbourne’s far-left now staging protests seemingly every day now where they are allowed to be as disruptive as possible to the public with no consequence, there is still a long way to go.
Pro-life victories have been scarce in the West in recent years. The United States is still the beacon of hope with many US states now passing stronger pro-life legislation and the long-standing Roe vs Wade Supreme Court precedent beginning to come under renewed legal challenges.
Today’s march was a start for many and the pro-life activist road is a long one. It needs to engage with everyday people on a personal conversational level for the wider public to understand the true horror of what abortion is, what it does to women and what it does to our society.