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Abortion in the Media

"Protesting the protestors" - The debate continues..

Life Network Australia - Tuesday, May 31, 2011
 The Border Mail has written another article about the vigil of the Helper's of God's Precious Infants at the Fertility Control Clinic in Albury. 
In the article, CEO of 'Women’s Health Goulburn North East', Susie Reid, has made unfounded statements that pro abortion advocates regurgitate on demand.
In just a few short sentences, Ms Reid has:
1. Understimated the growing concern about abortion in Albury/Australian society: " Small, noisy minority".
2. Marginalised men (many of whom live with hurt from abortion - including Rex Beard who shared his own painful experience of abortion - described in our last article ): - "Many of them (the noisy minority) men".
3. Made a not-so-subtle reference to "backyard abortions":  "This may result in women delaying their terminations or choosing to use illegal or unsafe techniques" - There is no evidence of the "droves of women" that supposedly died from backyard abortions, remembering that in 1969 when the Menhennit Ruling was passed, one woman in all of Australia died from a backyard abortion.
4. Blamed the Helpers for "scaring women away" - Away from such an "informed, even empowering decision", that pro aborts claim abortion is?  Research shows that abortion actually disempowers women (see unchoice.com ).
5.Attempted to 'handball' her organisation's role of sex education and information about contraception to the Helpers: "The anti-choice lobby is not at all concerned with prevention, like the provision of good sex education (and) access to effective contraception".

It seems that if Susie Reid's organisation was informing women about the procedure and risks of abortion and offering practical and emotional support to women facing unplanned pregnancy, as it should be - the Helpers might just (gladly) be 'out of a job'. 

Debbie Garratt of Real Choices Australia wrote to the Editor of The Border Mail:
"Melissa Ohden (abortion survivor) and I were interviewed by Brad Worrell in May and a story printed about Melissa’s survival. During this interview Brad expressed the view that the Border Mail would always want to be sure to ...present an impartial and fair view of both sides of the abortion issue. The Border Mail’s portrayal of the protests outside the abortion clinic over the last couple of weeks have done anything but provide a fair representation of ‘both sides’ however your latest article featuring Suzie Reid is blatant sensationalism, perpetuating the myth that all abortions are actually ‘wanted’ and that there can be no benefit gained by women being offered an alternative.

In one article, the abortionist Kathy Lewis is quoted as saying that business has increased since the media attention, and later Suzie as saying that the protests will scare women away and have them seeking illegal methods of abortion. Both of these claims are absurd, with Ms Reid’s statement bordering on outrageous.

The fact is that the people praying outside the abortion clinic have been doing so for more than a decade. There has NOT been an increase in illegal abortion in that time, and it is ridiculous to suggest that women are seeking abortion more often as a result. For Ms Reid to make statements that people who advocate for more options than abortion for women, do not care about women is blatantly false. There are many pro-life groups in Australia and in our region who work hard as volunteers, to provide material and practical resources for women, as well as mentoring and supporting them both during and after a challenging pregnancy. It is a poor reflection on the position of those seeking to usher women into the abortion clinic that they seek to marginalise and lie about the work of people who are deeply concerned about women facing abortion decisions.

International evidence is growing that women do not always seek abortion as a matter of their free and informed will. They usually seek abortion because they are in situations that are untenable for them, and they lack the support they may need to create more positive circumstances. Abortion should not be the answer to a social or economic problem. Regardless of one’s philosophical position on abortion, surely it is possible to find some common ground about the concern for women’s circumstances and the fact that so many feel pressured toward an unwanted abortion, and uninformed about the very real risks to their mental and emotional wellbeing, rather than perpetuating the idea that neither side actually cares".

While the tone of this article may seem somewhat depressing, the debate going on in Albury is fantastic. Pro lifers welcome the opportunity to address misinformation about abortion and to give the message loud and clear that "Women, (babies and families) deserve better than abortion" (Feminists for Life).

6/6/11 - In the most recent update, the Abortion Hurts Albury website tells of a threatening phone call made to Anna von Marburg who attends the vigil at the clinic and who comments on the website.

Anna's response: "The day before the call,  my husband and I prayed in front of the abortion clinic in Albury.  The pro abortionists blocked signage on my vehicle advertising this blog.  My husband appeared in the newspaper on Friday condemning them for using their umbrellas to cover up what abortion was doing to women.  When presented with research, statistics, and images, the response of the supporters of the taxpayer funded billion dollar abortion industry in this country is not to give a shred of evidence that abortion helps women and children, but to threaten me by calling me at home while my children sleep and my husband is away.

The  tax payer funded billion dollar abortion industry  chews up women , swallows their children, and spits out the women, a shell of what they used to be. They lie to them and their loved ones and tell them babies are just a blob of cells. They withhold or playdown the research and statistics that show the harmful effects on women’s mental, physical, and psychological being  and claim it’s “legal” so it’s okay.  The class one carcinogenic combined oral contraceptive pill is legal.  Silicon breast implants are legal.  The Dalkon shield was legal.  The gas chambers in Nazi Germany were legal.  Up until forty years ago, abortion was NOT legal.

Forty years ago, when abortion was made legal, we didn’t have the research on the harmful effects of abortion ,  nor did we contemplate the cost to society of trying to make post abortive women whole again. Forty years ago, we didn’t have  cameras into the womb or the evidence to show us that  from conception a unique and irreplaceable human being begins and continues to grow until she stops or is stopped. After forty years, it’s time to review the accumulated evidence and let the younger generation have a say in deciding whether or not abortion is good for women, children, and society.

I stand  across the street from the house at Englehardt Street and pray peacefully and legally as women are churned through for abortions on Thursdays. The greatest human rights leaders  of modern times, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr.,  and Lech Walesa combined peaceful protest and prayer to achieve their  goals.   I am a Christian.  When I get a call at the end of my life and  am asked what I did while babies died because they had no voice, and women cried because they felt they had no choice, I will answer.  At great personal cost , I did not remain silent."

"Protesting the protestors" in Albury, NSW

Life Network Australia - Thursday, May 26, 2011
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, for 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!

More Abortion Killings

Life Network Australia - Monday, September 14, 2009

Article by Bill Muehlenberg
September 13, 2009

Yet another abortion-related murder. The controversial issue of abortion has resulted in more killing. And as usual the media is having a feeding frenzy on this story. All over the world the news of this latest shooting is being reported.

The above story is true, except for a few items. Yes, there was a shooting, but not as you might expect. Over the years a handful of abortionists have been killed for various reasons. The mainstream pro-life movement has always roundly condemned the use of violence in stopping abortion.

But this shooting was different. This time a pro-lifer was shot dead. And one other item needs to be mentioned. Unlike the shooting deaths of abortionists, wherein the mainstream media goes ballistic and runs the story for days, calling on authorities to make pro-life activism illegal, this story has hardly been touched upon in the MSM.

Indeed, not only is it almost impossible to find any coverage of this story in the international media, but where it occurred – in the US – there is also frightening silence. Because this is a pro-lifer who has been shot, the MSM has basically decided that this is not a news-worthy item to carry.

So it is largely the alternative media that has been running with the story. Thus I too will write this up, to allow some more public exposure to this important news item. The details are as follows: Michigan man Jim Pouillon was outside of a High School where he was shot three times and died on September 11.

As one press report puts it, “Locals say that the victim, James Pouillon of Owosso, was well-known in the area for his pro-life activities.  Columnist Doug Powers wrote on his blog that Pouillon, called ‘the abortion sign guy’ by Owosso locals, was known for standing on street corners holding up signs with pictures of aborted children.

“Pastor Matt Trehella of Missionaries to the Preborn said today that Pouillon had joined his organization for a few stops of a pro-life tour less than a month ago. ‘Jim was a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man.  All who knew him, knew this,’ he said. ‘Please pray for Jim’s family.’

At this point it is not clear what the motivation of the shooting was. So we cannot say for sure if this was related directly to the abortion issue. Of course when a pro-abortionist is shot, the media is all over the story, even before it is clear who did the killing and why.

(Stop the press, this just in: “33-year-old Harland James Drake has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder of pro-life veteran Jim Pouillon this morning as he carried a pro-life sign in front of a local high school, reports local news station WILX-TV. Prosecutors said Drake told them he targeted Pouillon because of his pro-life activities.”)

This may have been the first death of a pro-lifer in the US, but it is certainly not the first act of violence against those who would defend the life of the unborn. Violence, intimidation, threats and abuse are the continual lot for those who stand up for children in the womb.

For example, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue said that this is a long-standing problem: “We have received literally hundreds of death threats in the past three months. Our office has been vandalized three times. Just yesterday, the FBI was in our office and picked up a stack of threatening letters that we received. We denounce violence in the strongest terms. The bloodshed must stop both inside and outside of the abortion clinics.”

Thus there is the daily violence against unborn babies, as well as against those who seek to protect them and speak up on their behalf. As Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life said, “James Pouillon today joined the approximately 4,000 other victims who will be killed today because of abortion. The taking of all innocent lives must stop. I call on the leaders of the so called ‘pro-choice’ movement to condemn this killing and to consider all of the people who lose their lives to abortion every single day.”

Cal Zastrow, Co-Founder of Personhood USA, said this about his friend: “This morning a violent man murdered a peaceful pro- life Christian, Jim Pouillon, my close friend. Jim was completely non-violent and never condoned using violence. I knew him very well and had prayed and ministered with him often. He was praying and holding a poster of a newborn baby outside of Owosso High School. One of the students in the school was his granddaughter. His beating heart and measurable brainwaves are stopped. Also today, 4,000 American preborn children with beating hearts and measurable brainwaves are being murdered with suction ‘abortion’ machines or drugs. Their beating hearts and measurable brainwaves are stopped. We condemn both forms of murder. Don’t shoot, stab, smack, slap, or suck the arms and legs off of children with suction machines! Stop the violence!

“The last time I talked to Jim was this week, Monday. I prayed with him over the phone as he was preparing to go talk about Jesus and show pro-life signs in front of Owosso High School, where he was martyred this morning.”

Abortion is clearly the human rights issue of our time. As Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the Fifties and Sixties, people lost their lives to secure the civil rights of those victimized by discrimination. Now, James Pouillon has lost his life in the civil rights cause of the 21st Century, the struggle to protect the right to life of every single person, born and unborn. Mr. Pouillon has not died in vain; the struggle will only be renewed because of his courage and sacrifice.”

This tragic story highlights the very real divide in the US about the abortion issue. It is clearly a contentious issue that will not go away. One wishes however that the MSM would be even-handed about this topic. Its near silence about this shooting simply demonstrates how one-sided and biased the MSM is on this topic.

If it ever decides to present a bit of balance here, my job would be less vital. But because it seeks to cover news mainly from a pro-death perspective, this and numerous other alternative media sites will continue to speak out. And for the sake of the 45 to 50 million unborn babies who are killed around the world each year, we dare not remain silent.

Used with permission.

Bill Muehlenberg's CultureWatch delivers reflective and incisive commentary on a wide range of issues, helping to sort through the maze of competing opinions, worldviews, ideologies and value systems.

More information is available from LifeNews.com.

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