Pro abortion advocates are reacting to the presence of vigil holders at the local 'Fertility Control Clinic' in Albury, NSW. In a Border Mail news article
, it is claimed that the Helpers of God's Precious Infants (not "Right to Life campaigners" as reported by WIN News
) are filming those entering the clinic and so, are invading their right to privacy.
Some months ago, I took a drive to the vigil in Albury, where the 'Helpers' were participating in the international '40 Days for Life'
campaign. I witnessed a small group standing quietly on the opposite side of the street, heads bowed and praying quietly amongst themselves. Directly outside the clinic, on the footpath was a smiling lady (who I later met), who approached the women going in. Most stopped to chat, with a friendly exchange and others smiled at her, took a brochure on foetal development and continued into the clinic. There were certainly no "aggressive tactics" being used by the Helpers, as one protestor reported to WIN News.
I contacted one of the vigil organisers about the allegation of filming the clients. She said " In the beginning we had no camera but then the clinic kept ringing the council and police with false accusations, so we sought legal advice - which was to film the protest (not the clients). We have not been questioned by the council or the police since then about the vigil". She added that "In the USA, almost every abortion clinic and group of protestors film so that they don't go back and forth about false harrassment all day long."
It is believed that the Albury clinic has a camera operating.
WIN News reported that many of the protestors were seniors and they raised common arguments used by pro abortion advocates. One protestor, Rex Beard, described the difficult circumstances his family was in when they decided to abort their fourth child. He said "When my wife fell pregnant with the fourth child, it would have just pushed our family unit over the edge. And we had that choice to make and it was an experience that was very tough on both of us."
The second argument raised by the seniors was the notion of "backyard abortions", where the seniors "remembered the bad old days when women died while undergoing amateur abortions".
In fact, in 1969 when the Menhennit Ruling was passed (which allowed abortion to preserve the life of the mother or to protect her mental health), one woman in all of Australia died from a backyard abortion. The myth of the 'droves of women' that supposedly died from "amateur abortion" is simply not true. Although tragic, backyard abortions were very few - particularly in comparison to the 90,000 plus abortions now happening in Australia each year.
A debate has begun on facebook, which makes it clear that this debate is much broader than the use of cameras. The page called 'Protest the Protestors - Help defend people's rights'
is an invitation for others to join the protestors. Comments on the facebook page by pro life advocates argue that the needs of women and families (like Rex Beard's) need to be addressed and families provided with practical and emotional support, not abortion. Other comments are that many women/families feel that in the circumstances they are in, that they don't have any other "choice". Pro life advocates also provided statistics and research on coercion of women and negative side affects associated with abortion. Both groups agree that abortion is rarely a decision taken lightly by any woman.
One comment on the 'Protest the protestors - Help defend people's rights'
Facebook page described the services that the Helpers can offer to women. The comment was: "I am not involved with the work of the 'Helpers', however I do know that their work is NOT about evangelising or pushing their religion, it IS about actually being that alternative, in very real and practical ways. Did you know the group can access and provide emergency accommodation for a woman who has nowhere to stay? Or that they provide financial assistance, material goods, woman to woman mentoring for women who aren't getting that much needed support elsewhere?"
Ironically, business was slow for the clinic on the day of the protest, as the pathway and footpath were blocked (which is illegal) by pro abortion advocates - as seen in the picture published by the Border Mail
The Border Mail
also reported that "At the end of the afternoon, the clinic’s doctor, Kathy Lewis, mingled with the protest group and thanked them for their support", which raises the question - are the organisers of the protest acting on the request of the abortion provider who has a vested financial interest in silencing the Helpers?
Life Network Australia will be enquiring about a tip off that Dr. Kathy Lewis may also own an abortion clinic in Melbourne (with cameras!) that has allegedly just been fined $10,000 for the assault of a protestor by the clinic's security guard. One might ask "Are her business and income being adversly affected by those offering alternatives to abortion outside her clinics?".
In May, abortion survivor, Melissa Ohden
(Patron of Real Choices Australia
) visitted Albury. There is also an upcoming visit
of Abby Johnson (ex director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in the U.S -hosted by Right to Life Australia
. These two ladies are prominent speakers within the U.S and International pro life movement - both have incredible stories!
A website and forum 'Abortion Hurts Albury'
has been created by
locals seeking further information about abortion. Their site features up to date information and links to other websites and sources of information - a great resource!