2017 Rally for Life
19th annual Rally for Life sends a strong message to Parliament
The CDHL Rally for Life was held again on the 23rd of May, drawing a crowd of close to 1500 people of all ages and backgrounds, including hundreds of young people and young adults. The evening began with prayers and Scripture readings lead by Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey, Reverend Steven ‘t Hart and Pastor Ken Lee. Teneil Anderson, a young woman who in her own words, ‘should have been aborted’, then shared her powerful testimony of the immense gratitude she has for her life, despite having experienced great hardship at times.
Dwight Randall (president of the Coalition) and Michelle Pearse (research officer for a Member of Parliament) co-chaired the rally.
Speaking to the gathering, Dwight said: ‘This Friday will mark nineteen years of legalised abortion in Western Australia. During that time approximately 157,000 unborn children have been robbed of life.
‘Included in that total are 26 children at 20 weeks gestation or later who were born alive after surviving abortion procedures at King Edward Memorial Hospital. These babies were not offered care, but left to die…
‘The theme of this year’s Rally for Life is ‘Be a voice for the missing generation’, and that is what you are. You are a voice for the 157,000 children who cannot speak for themselves. Together, we plead with the Parliament to hear our cry on their behalf.’
Michelle led the crowd in a minute of silence. She said: ‘Will you please join with me in a minute of silence to remember the missing generation who have been robbed of life, and to remember their mothers, and others, who have been harmed under this law? You may wish to bow your heads and remember them, and pray for strength to continue this fight until abortion is brought to a halt. In silence now, let us remember them.’
Another young woman, Belinda Manzoney, shared her story of twice being pressured into abortion by people in the medical profession, the second time after 20 weeks. However, in both instances she refused abortion, and with the help of generous supporters, now has two beautiful, healthy children. Her testimony lead into a speech from Nick Goiran MLC about the tragedy of babies of viable age, who survive an abortion and are left to die. At least 27 infants have survived abortion in WA since 1999, including seven in 2016-2017 alone, only to die without receiving any medical care.
A petition was circulated, calling on the Government to hold a Parliamentary Enquiry to investigate the systemic failures which allow these innocent children to die such a tragic death, with no-one held responsible for their care. (The petition is included in this newsletter.)
Paul Russell, Australia’s leading anti-euthanasia advocate, also gave a speech outlining the major problems with legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide. He reminded those gathered that the right to life is absolute, and that there is no ‘safe’ way to allow for the killing of certain members of society. His sentiments were echoed by Margaret Quirk MLA, who expressed her disappointment over plans to introduce euthanasia legislation this year, while also highlighting the need for quality, holistic and life-affirming palliative care to be made available to all who need it.
A new, youth-focussed pro-life action group was also launched at the Rally, with many young people present expressing interest in being involved. It is encouraging to see so many young people taking an active stand for life. The new generation is certainly ‘taking up the baton’ with a new energy and enthusiasm!
Members of Parliament in attendance included Nick Goiran MLC, Margaret Quirk MLA, Michelle Roberts MLA, Kate Doust MLC, Tony Krsticevic MLA, Martin Pritchard MLC, Bill Johnston MLA, Simon O’Brien MLC, Kevin Michael MLA. Peter Katsambis MLA also sent his apologies.