2018 Rally for Life: ‘Love Them Both’ (click here to see photos)
On the evening of Saturday, May 26, approximately 1500 people gathered at the Supreme Court Gardens for the annual ‘Rally for Life’. This year was a particularly solemn occasion, as it marked exactly 20 years of legal abortion in Western Australia.
Attendees gathered around a display of 3,300 white crosses laid out in the form of a single large cross. Each individual cross represented 50 innocent victims of abortion in WA over the past 20 years alone – a total of 165 000 lives taken with state approval. The poignant display, which was present in the Supreme Court Gardens for the whole weekend, was a powerful way of bringing the sheer scale of abortion to the attention of Rally attendees as well as many other members of the general public.
The gathering was led in a minute of silence to remember these precious children, and the women and others harmed by abortion.
A letter of apology from Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey was read by Brian Peachey, a co-founder and former president of the Coalition. He wrote, ‘I am sorry that I cannot be with you tonight. … We live in difficult times when anti-life lobbies, with their privileged access to the media, pursue their agenda with relentless force, seeking to claim the victory and silence all others. We may not have the same access to the media, which is often unsympathetic to our cause, but we do have a truth to give and the power of the Holy Spirit to help us proclaim it from the rooftops. …’
During the Rally service, the CDHL presented ‘William Wilberforce Awards’ to Members of Parliament with a long-term record of consistently voting pro-life. The awards read, ‘In recognition of years of faithful service in defence of human life and the protection of unborn children in the Parliament of Western Australia this Award is presented to (name of recipient), 26th May 2018.” The award was signed by Dwight Randall, President CDHL. Across the bottom of the award a quote from William Wilberforce in the House of Commons on 18th April 1791 was printed, ‘Whatever may be its success, I have attached my happiness to their cause, and shall never relinquish it.’ Recipients of what has been called ‘the most prestigious award in WA politics’ included Michelle Roberts, MLA, Nick Goiran, MLC, Simon O’Brien, MLC, Kate Doust, MLC, John Quigley, MLA and Donna Faragher, MLA.
Addressing the Rally, Maryka Groenewald, co-chair of the rally, commented that the passing of abortion law “marked a deadly watershed in the history of this state. It reflects a society which has lost its most basic sense of justice and entered a very dark era.
“In 2017 there were 7,827 abortions in Western Australia. Included in that total were 78 children at 20 weeks gestation or later who were aborted at King Edward Memorial Hospital. Some were beyond the age of viability…
“Try to picture what over 80,000 girls and over 80,000 boys ranging from birth to 19 years of age would look like. The loss of these children should break our hearts. It should cause us to redouble our determination to demand that our State’s brutal abortion law be reversed and replaced with a compassionate law that provides protection for both mother and child.
“We should not allow ourselves to become discouraged. We are having an impact. The abortion rate in Western Australia is steadily dropping. It is at 18 per cent, down from the high of 26 per cent in 2001. While we should never be satisfied, even if one abortion is taking place per year, this is a significant drop.”
Andrew Lansdown reflected back in time by reading an article that he wrote entitled, ‘A baby in a bottle.’ This article, which deals with the circumstances that led to the legalisation of abortion 20 years ago, can be read at https://www.lifeministries.org.au/a-baby-in-a-bottle/
After reading the article, Dwight Randall, President of the Coalition and co-chair of the rally said, ‘When Andrew spoke of the opposition to the two abortion Bills 20 years ago, he was speaking about the work of the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life. It was the Coalition that fielded a petition that tens-of-thousands of people signed. It was the Coalition that ran twopublic rallies, each attended by approximately 2,500 people. It was the Coalition that urged pro-life MPs to oppose legalisation, and supported them in their efforts to do so. I say these things because it is appropriate to recognise the faithful work of the Coalition and its affiliates over the past 20 years.’
The first keynote speaker was Megan Ngatai, who shared her experience of facing an unexpected pregnancy at just 17 years of age. Megan was pressured by many people to procure an abortion, but found help and support from staff at Pregnancy Problem House and people in her church. She talked about the sheer joy of motherhood, of falling in love and getting married. Megan is pregnant and eagerly anticipating the birth of her fourth child.
The second keynote speaker was Michelle Macormic, Executive Director of Pregnancy Problem House who spoke with attendees about how to support women in crisis pregnancy situations. (an edited version of her speech is contained on page 3 of this newsletter).
The CDHL wishes to thank all who attended and supported the 2018 Rally for Life, especially those from the Free Reformed Churches who made the display of crosses possible.