Richard Grant, of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, writes about Dr. Rachel Carling-Jenkins’ new Infant Viability Bill.
Why We Need the Infant Viability Bill
The main purpose of this post is to seek your support for a critically important Private Member’s Bill soon to be debated in State Parliament which aims to wind back Victoria’s current draconian abortion laws in order to help save the lives of later term unborn babies from a horrible death by abortion. But first I would like to give you some background as to where we stand currently in this State of Victoria in relation to this issue which I believe is undoubtedly the greatest human rights issue of our time.
The sheer scale of the abortion epidemic worldwide is mind boggling. Over 50 million babies killed annually worldwide, 100,000 of these in Australia. In the United States around two thirds of all black children conceived are aborted and recently Dr Alveda King, who is the niece of the great Martin Luther King Jnr, said of this, “the great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of………Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing.”
Our own State of Victoria’s past has also been shameful as there has been de facto abortion on demand since Justice Menhennit made a ruling in 1979 that abortion was lawful if a doctor genuinely believed that continuation of the pregnancy would subject the mother’s life or physical or mental health to serious danger. The problem was that this ruling was not easily enforceable as it was hard to get a conviction when the state of a mother’s mental health could be used as a defence in law. As a result, the now deceased abortion law reformer, Dr Bertram Wainer, was able to boast in the Melbourne Age in 1973 that his abortion business in Wellington Parade East Melbourne was performing 50 abortions a day at that time.
This same abortion business in East Melbourne has tragically exterminated the lives of over 300,000 tiny human beings since 1973 and it is outside the front of this business in Wellington Parade that has been the focus of daily prayer and public witness for the last 23 years by the group I have personally been heavily involved with, the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
The good news is that during this 23 years over 300 mothers have turned away from abortion after being offered by members of our group whatever help they needed to be able to accept and care for their child. We recognise the pressures that many women are under and are keen to offer our help in overcoming these difficulties. Those mothers who have turned around are now just so grateful that we were there for them in their time of great need. Here are a few of the beautiful babies saved.
The reality is that our prayerful apostolate was having a bad effect financially on this abortion business. The number of their clients had been declining steadily over the years with the average number of abortions performed daily now around 15. There is anecdotal evidence that as well as the 300 babies mentioned above our presence outside the East Melbourne abortuary has helped save the lives of hundreds more babies, if not thousands. It is little wonder that this business has been trying desperately to get rid of us for years and even taken us to court on two occasions. When they didn’t succeed in court this abortion business turned to their many pro-abortion friends in State Parliament with the eventual result that a 150 metres Exclusion Zone will come into effect in July this year.
It is this same Victorian Parliament that in 2008 brought in one of the most discriminatory and unjust abortion laws in the Western World. At least up until then abortion was technically illegal in most circumstances. But the 2008 law totally decriminalised abortion in Victoria with abortions then able to be legally performed up to the very point of birth.
Under this 2008 law unborn babies up to and including 24 weeks of age can be aborted for any or no reason with the mother having the sole right to make this decision. The father has no say legally at all. Babies aged 25 weeks or older can be aborted if 2 doctors agree that an abortion is appropriate given all the circumstances. However these circumstances can be for virtually any reason whether it is social, economic, medical or even just lifestyle reasons.
Essentially therefore under present law unborn babies who are unwanted by their mothers have no legal right to life. In other words, an unborn baby’s legal right to life in Victoria is dependent on whether or not he or she is wanted by the mother.
This adoption by our State of the principle that “wantedness” can be the sole legal criterion for determining whether or not a human being has the right to life has profoundly serious ramifications for our society. For where will it all end if such a mentality takes hold more broadly? What, for example, will be the next category of human being who will be labelled as unwanted? And who will decide who is unwanted? Hitler decided for his country and we all know what happened there. But as well as Hitler, there are many other dictators who decided who were unwanted in their societies. Think of Pol Pot, Stalin and Idi Amin.
Another chilling aspect of the 2008 Victorian law is that it infringes on the right to freedom of conscience of doctors who are totally opposed to abortion. Under this law these doctors are forced to be accomplices to abortion by being required to refer a pregnant woman wanting an abortion to another doctor who is prepared to perform it. In this way, the Hippocratic Oath which all Australian doctors once took on graduation has now been turned on its head. This oath’s core principle is “first do no harm” and contains the words “and especially I will not aid a woman procure an abortion”. The sheer hypocrisy involved in all of this reminds me of the powerful words of the distinguished but profoundly disabled blind and deaf American woman, Helen Keller, who said “ yes, it is hard being blind but there is something far worse and that is having eyes and not being willing to see”.
The good news is that the fight back against this disgraceful law has begun thanks to Dr Rachael Carling-Jenkins’ Infant Viability Bill which aims to ban abortion for babies aged 20 weeks or older, medical emergencies being the only exceptions.. Under this bill there is no penalty for the mother, only for the doctors who perform the abortion. You can examine the details of this bill on the website. (The new website is coming soon!)
I commend this Bill to you for your support, hopefully beginning with your signing of a Petition today after this Service and then also if possible writing personal letters to your local MP’s supporting the Bill.
I leave you with the words of Edmund Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.
Ready to Help?
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Download a petition for the Legislative Council: Petition - Council - Final
Download a petition for the Legislative Assembly: Petition - Assembly -Generic Final