Matt Britton, chair of the board of 40 Days for Life, and Father Francis M de Rosa, a priest in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, expressed their grave concerns about an abortion law reform bill introduced to Parliament by Greens MLC Tammy Franks. The bill is currently under review by the South Australian Law Reform Institute.
The men also met with a delegation from the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide to discuss ways of assisting the Catholic Church in opposing proposed changes to the current abortion laws.
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They explained the role of 40 Days of Life in saving lives by praying, fasting and holding peaceful vigils outside abortion clinics.
“We have saved 15,000 babies around the world – and that means actually witnessing a woman coming out of an abortion clinic and saying she’s choosing life,” Mr Britton said.
“We have succeeded in closing 99 abortion clinics and have had 187 abortion workers and abortionists leave the abortion industry, many joining the pro-life movement and coming to Christ.”
Mr Britton stressed that the organisation was non-political and did not get involved in hate-mongering or vilification, nor did it show graphic images.
“We pray for everyone, including those performing abortions,” he said.
Referring to moves to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics, the lawyer and former elected prosecutor and county attorney said this was an attack on freedom of speech and the freedom to gather which would have huge ramifications for environmentalists and other social movements.
He also expressed concerns about removing or redefining criminal law provisions relating to abortion.
“Wholesale decriminalisation of abortion leads to irreconcilable legal, moral and common sense contradictions. For instance, the intentional killing of an unborn baby by a third party would still presumably be murder; while if the ‘third party’ is an abortionist it would just be a monetary fine,” he said.
Alan Tyson, local convenor of 40 Days for Life, said the launch of the Lenten campaign attracted more than 130 people and was one of the most successful held in Adelaide, thanks to the presence of Mr Britton and Fr de Rosa.