Tuesday, 15 October 2013

March for the babies...and our culture

On Saturday, my wife and I took our new born to the annual March for the Babies. The annual march is an event held by pro-life activists in order to demonstrate to the Victorian Government, and the general public, that there is widespread support for changing the current Abortion Law Reform Act ("Abortion Law").
Briefly, under current Victorian Abortion Law, a woman can legally have an abortion right up until birth, although, after 24 weeks, at least two doctors must agree to the abortion. Section 8 of the Abortion Act states that health practitioners who conscientiously object to abortion, must refer the matter to a practitioner who they know does not object, which essentially still makes them take part in something they conscientiously object to. This is despite the Victorian Charter for Human Rights and numerous other international treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, enshrining the inalienable right to exercise your moral conscience.

You may have heard about the case of Doctor Mark Hobart, a Victorian doctor who is facing the prospect of losing his livelihood because he didn't refer a couple to a doctor he knew (even though he didn't know one!) for an abortion at 19 weeks because they wanted a boy, not the girl they were pregnant with. He is a victim of Section 8 (and the culture this law has bred - more on that to come) because he had a moral objection to an abortion based on gender. It's staggering that a doctor can potentially lose his livelihood under these circumstances, yet it is illegal to gender select under IVF.

I went home on Saturday with a sour taste in my mouth for three reasons.

Firstly, because there is actually a need to have an annual march to protect unborn babies. I just can't get my mind around the fact that we can legalise aborting an unborn baby, largely under the cover of "it's not a baby until it's born", up to term. Many women will tell you it's their body, their choice, but I wonder how many have considered the fact that they themselves can only make choices because they are alive.

Secondly, the aggression of what Andrew Bolt calls the "chanting Socialist and Feminists" was like nothing I've witnessed on a day-lit Melbourne street before. The pro-abortion mob were riding bikes into the crowd, literally hitting the elderly and children, screaming the most vulgar obscenities you could think of within inches of people's faces, throwing eggs and oranges at people, tackling, kicking and punching, including a member of State Parliament. See below.

From Bolt's article in the Herald Sun yesterday:
"Now, remember what socialists claim: they are kinder and more moral. More sharing and caring.
Remember what feminists claim: they want women treated equally. Want mutual respect."
Where was the mutual respect and tolerance on Saturday? Where was the caring for the elderly and young? My wife and I literally felt unsafe about our 9 week old son being there.

To be honest, I don't think the pro-life crowd did themselves any huge favours during the speeches on the steps of Parliament House.  I felt that these speeches were inflammatory, and may have further fuelled the fire of the opposition.

However, I find it difficult to understand the type of behaviour displayed by the pro-abortion protesters who currently have the law on their side. 
Even with the law as they want it, they feel the need to promote their messages of "choice" in the most vulgar way possible, supposedly in the pursuit of ‘equality and tolerance’. By the way, they preach about choice, but give their opposition no choice to peacefully have their say on the streets. Equality 101.

There were so many hypocrisies in their actions I won't bore you with them all. However, one is worth mentioning. A pro-choice women was parading a banner that read: "I had an abortion and I chose life". Does that mean having a baby is the death of you?

The third reason I went home scratching my head is the real issue in my opinion. 
Laws change culture. There are numerous examples of this throughout history. From the Communist regime of Cambodia under Pol Pot, to the one child policy in China. It seems as though here in Victoria, we have moved from a culture that gives everyone freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of moral conscience (just ask Doctor Mark Hobart about that last one; see my post called "Got a conscience? What for?" for more info on his plight), to a culture that now only cares about granting you access to these fundamental human rights if you're on a certain side. 
The fact that Section 8 of the Victorian Abortion Law strips away the right of doctors and nurses to exercise their moral conscience, even though freedom of moral conscience is, and always has been, a fundamental human right, demonstrates a cultural shift. It replaces freedom of moral conscience with the requirement to perform or take part in an act that you may not believe is ethically right.

The fact that the police stood back and let the elderly be physically and verbally abused on Saturday also demonstrates that there has been a cultural shift with respect to freedom of speech unless you're on a certain side. Can you imagine the outcry in the media if Japanese whalers were physically and verbally abusing people at a March for the Whales?

I was made aware of a 71 year old women who was sitting on the steps of Parliament House and who was approached by a burly police officer. Within meters, pro-choice people were physically abusing people, yet this policeman asked her to move away from the steps or he would pick her up and physically move her himself. When he advised her that he was going to physically move a 71 year old woman who was doing absolutely nothing but sitting in a public place, instead of actually doing his job and attending to the abuse taking place just meters away, she asked for his badge number and name. He quickly moved on. That story paints the picture.

Between the treatment of Doctor Mark Hobart and what we witnessed on the streets of Melbourne on Saturday, the “right” to abortion has been elevated above the fundamental human right of freedom of conscience and has trumped the fundamental human right of freedom of speech.

The current Abortion Law in Victoria is at odds with more than international treaties. It is at odds with the very culture that has given everyone a say. Our legislators need to repeal it.

All the best,
Dom Meese


  1. I think one of the biggest problems is the Govt. and in particular the Minister for Police and the police themselves as individuals. Its not just a case of doing what they're told. (Cf Nuremburg trial defence.)

    So peaceful protestors can be fined ridiculous amounts for praying or being within 500m (?) of a 'abortuary' just so folks don't even have to think twice about their killing of the innocent and defenceless and yet police betray their calling by allowing peaceful protestors to be spat on, egged, abused, assaulted etc? Forget their right of free speech!

    Who is holding them to account? If law and order is lost, and likewise any belief in it, where are we heading?

    I hope the week before next years protest which I hope to join, a boisterous delegation/ protest should make their way to the Minister's local office and publicly demand that he/ she do their job. Victoria has an evil Government and a public advertising campaign should be pursued to expose it.

  2. Hi Grova

    The Police are actually under investigation for their actions, or lack thereof, at the march. I haven't heard anything come of the investigation though.

    Not sure protesting to the Minister's local office to demand he/she do her job would achieve anything other than creating more tension. It would also be at odds with the annual March for the Babies which is a peaceful march, rather than a boisterous protest.

    Maybe weight in numbers writing to the Minister would be a better approach. Just my thoughts on it though.