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Meetings held on abortion law changes

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Nearly 80 people recently attended a public meeting in Minlaton where presenters outlined impending changes to the existing law in relation to abortions in South Australia.

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This followed a similar meeting convened in Wallaroo by Yorke Peninsula parishioner Bob Meaney.

Fellow parishioners Michael and Celia Babbage and other concerned citizens organised the Minlaton meeting and similar events are planned for Port Pirie, Clare, Berri and Murray Bridge.

Presenters included Christopher Brohier from the Australian Christian Lobby, Amanda Brohier, Adelaide GP Dr Toni Turnbull, Juli Sharpe from Genesis Pregnancy Support and Jodie Pickard from Love Adelaide. Andrea and Neil Loughhead also shared their story of adoption as an option.

Mr Babbage said the aim of the gatherings were firstly to provide information to attendees and secondly to motivate people in SA to take action by contacting their relevant member of Parliament to voice their opinion on this most important issue.

“The presenters spoke about the fact that abortion was often offered as the only option in regard to an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy,” Mr Babbage said.

“There are over 4000 abortion procedures carried out each year in SA alone. Meanwhile, people seeking to adopt a child are on very long waiting lists due to the lack of children available for adoption.”

People at the meeting were encouraged to keep informed of developments through the Love Adelaide and Australian Christian Lobby organisations and join the action to stop the proposed bill from passing through Parliament.

Mr Brohier emphasised that it was “our collective responsibility” to stop this bill.

Meanwhile, 40 Days for Life, which holds twice-yearly silent prayer vigils outside the Mareeba Abortion Clinic in Woodville, held a well-attended launch dinner at St Nectarios Church Hall, Croydon Park, hosted by Greek Orthodox Bishop Silouan Fotineas.

Bishop Silouan reiterated the value of all human lives from conception to natural death and encouraged all pro-lifers to pray, fast and work diligently to protect human life.

Alan Tyson, from 40 Days for Life, said the silent prayer vigils would continue until November 1, despite the House of Assembly passing a bill to introduce a 150m ‘safe access zone’ around sites undertaking abortions. The bill will now be debated in the Legislative Council.

Mr Tyson said an amendment to the bill to allow silent prayer was narrowly defeated by 24 votes to 21.

Legislation to reform the current abortion legislation is expected to be introduced by the Attorney General Vickie Chapman within the next few weeks.

Jodie Pickard from Love Adelaide told The Southern Cross that generally-speaking, communities were completely unaware that the bill would include legalising abortion up to birth.

“Australia has gone to extreme lengths to care for and protect the vulnerable during the COVID crisis, so how is it possible that the most vulnerable, viable babies not yet born would be not given the same protections?” she asked.

“Pregnant mothers in crisis need our support – taking the life of her baby who can feel pain through a lethal injection and delivering stillborn will add trauma in ways only those who have ever experienced this pain could understand.”

“We can find a better way and love both mother and child. It’s time for churches in SA to make themselves heard, and that means every member of the church not just our priests and pastors but lay people as well.”

Ms Pickard urged people to contact their local MP and to save the date for next year’s Walk for Life on Saturday February 6, 10am-12pm.

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