Tony Abbott, the former Australian prime minister, has spoken passionately at a Sydney anti-abortion rally ahead of a NSW upper house vote on draft abortion decriminalisation legislation, labelling the bill “infanticide on demand“.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 allows terminations up to 22 weeks, as well as abortion up to the moment of birth, if two doctors considering all the circumstances agree the termination should occur.
The bill in August passed the lower house 59-31 in August after an attempt was made to rush it through unannounced in 72 hours.
Mr Abbott, along with former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, NSW finance minister Damien Tudehope, Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile and a broad collection of Christian religious leaders spoke at the rally on Sunday at Hyde Park.
The moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, Rev Peter Barnes, spoke along the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, and the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies.
In front of a crowd of up to 10,000 people, Mr Abbott accused the NSW government led by Premier Gladys Berejiklian of introducing “the most radical abortion laws in this country“.
“We elect sensible governments of the centre-right to serve us in practical ways, not to engage in social engineering,” Mr Abbott told the crowd.
“It’s a licence for sex-selection abortions, a licence for late-term abortions. It’s effectively infanticide on demand.”
Mr Abbott also echoed other opponents of the bill in criticising the way it was introduced to parliament and the time available for consultation.
Crowds loudly chanted “stand for life“, “ditch the bill” and “Save them both.” While they chanted, they waved pro-life banners, and different national flags and posters with Christian pictures and paintings.
My wife and I served the protest by providing pine battens, helping to affix the signs to the battens so they could be seen by the TV cameras. Watch this great pan of the crowd on this short video and see our team at the 11-second mark.
We met many other Canberra Declaration signees at the Stand for Life Rally. The team at the Canberra Declaration congratulate the organisors of the Life Rally, which were the combined churches of Sydney with many other Christian pro-life groups also supporting. We encourage you to watch this excellent SBS Video and story on the Stand For Life Rally at Hyde Park.
Mr Joyce called the abortion bill “animalistic“: “If you want to kill somebody, how do you do it? How do you do it? You dehumanise them, you give them another word. You don’t call them a person, you call them a fetus or a thing,” a passionate Mr Joyce told the crowd.
“This is the slavery debate of our time.”
Barnaby pointed out that the NSW Upper House had scheduled a longer inquiry on cruelty to battery hens, which went for seven weeks, than the mere week allowed for the inquiry on the abortion decriminalization bill.
Further debate on the Abortion Legalisation Bill NSW starts on the amendments to the bill in the NSW Upper House on Tuesday 17 August 2019.Two brave Lower House Members have signaled their decision to resign from their own party and sit on the cross-bench unless the amendments they propose are accepted. This would put the Berejiklian Liberal government into minority status.
This has thrown doubt on the future of the bill. The courageous Kevin Connelly MP and Tanya Davies MP deserve our encouragement. Find their details here.
Letters are most effective for Parliamentarians, but phone calls are still very good. Find your NSW Upper House Members address and phone details here.
Paul the Apostle in Ephesians 6:13 says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
We can all make a stand for life in one way or another!
To follow the injunction of Pray, Fast & Act, the team at the Canberra Declaration calls for 2 Days of Prayer & Fasting for LIFE, Tues 17 and continuing on Wed 18 September.
Please join with us as you are able.
[Featured image by Giovanni Portelli via Right to Life NSW]