A peaceful night vigil of 2,000 passionate voices at WA Parliament on June 16 declared ‘No life is disposable at any time’ and pledged to “confront our State’s shame and to offer life-affirming help in its place” amid law changes that attack the safety of thousands of women and their children.
Rally co-host and FamilyVoice WA Director Darryl Budge, Nick Goiran MLC, and several other speakers from the WA-based Coalition for the Defence of Human Life, addressed the crowd with the sobering reality that we must change the culture one-to-one, as 190,000 WA lives have been lost to legal abortion since 1998.
The highlight of the night was the heart-warming and shocking testimony of Anouska Firth, who boldly shared that despite growing up in a religious family she aborted two children with full knowledge of what she was doing.
Abortion and attempts to numb the painful truth “was a huge part in my rapid decline into severe depression, anxiety, paranoia and drug abuse,” Ms Firth said.
“I was off and on again homeless, heroin and meth and everything else addicted, facing time in prison for criminal charges.”
After joining the Esther Foundation rehab program in Perth, Anouska went to a Silent Grief Conference, run by Lynn Sirname, where she began to confront the reality of abortion.
“Please hear me clearly now as I say that by the grace of God in His Glorious love, I have not only been forgiven but I have been liberated and set free,” she said.
“No amount of relationships, counselling, medications, drugs, therapy or programs can compare to the perfect and pure love of God. When I faced the truth, I was so horrified in what I had done that I knew only God could save me and forgive me. Praise God by the blood of His son, Jesus, He has.
“I stand before you all now, not a victim of my past, or a condemned murderer, but a forgiven and redeemed woman. The constant torture, torment, shame and guilt that I experienced for years has been completely washed away.”
Mr Budge told the crowd that culture can be turned around by renewing our commitment to provide care to distressed parents and families.
There is hope because several surgical abortion clinics in regional NSW and Queensland have closed, and the rate of abortions per total births in WA is gradually falling below 1 in 5 of all pregnancies.
Sadly, the heartless WA government has the parliamentary numbers to attack babies even more. “It aims to pass a bill that will lock up anyone guilty of helping a woman in distress near an abortion clinic for 12 months and fine them $12,000,” he said.
Australian Christians party director and rally co-host Maryka Groenewald told the gathering that pushing women to have abortions without providing appropriate care and informed consent is “medical negligence”.
This lack of care also extends to the embarrassing and inadequate palliative care funding which falls short by $100 million in WA, she said.
Over 1000 people signed a petition, open until July 19, which urges the WA Attorney General to release the Coroner’s Court recommendation into over 26 WA babies born alive and left to die. Hundreds of churches will be gathering more signatures over the next month.
Shadow Attorney General Nick Goiran MLC spoke powerfully on the history of this issue, his long running campaign on it, and why the petition will make a difference.
Prior to a sobering minute of silence, Mr Budge reminded the gathering that abortions are now officially at least one in three Australian deaths, and 1 in 5 pregnancies are cut short by violent abortion.
In 2020, Liberal-government-enacted Medicare funding for remote abortion consultations increased the take-up of the RU486 pill that starves the baby of sustenance in the first 10 weeks. This killing pill “accounted for 2900 of the 7947 abortions in WA, up from less than 3 prior to 2009,” he said.
“As a nation, we must reverse this course that is crushing our citizens but is crushing our future as well. Australia has descended from a peak of over 3 children per childbearing-age woman to a record low of 1.7.
“We are headed for a demographic winter, a rapidly aging population, unless our nation’s culture and laws embrace and protect unborn children again – and allows pressured and distressed women to freely seek help while fleeing pressure or abuse, no matter where they are in Australia.
“We are on a trajectory to meet China and Italy at their low 1.3, half of what a self-sustaining country needs.”
The crowd joined in rousing prayers from Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey and Victory Life Associate Pastor Marika Court and was stirred to action for the unborn by CDHL Vice-President Dwight Randall and to investigate euthanasia protection kits as announced by Steve Klomp of Right to Life WA.
Anouska Firth asked the crowd many sobering questions.
“What are we as a people going to do about it? What are we as a church going to do about it? Who is going to stand and speak for those who cannot?” she asked.
“It is up to you and me to stand and to speak out and say enough is enough! So I implore you—Wake up! Every person has a right to life and we have a responsibility to help them fight for it.”
Mr Budge publicly thanked Nick Goiran MLC and Neil Thomson MLC at the rally for being present and for engaging with the disturbing reality of abortion.
The petition, organised by CDHL president Darryl Budge, is available at http://cdhl.org.au/resources/.