Our Pro-Life Generation
Radical abortion laws proposed for New South Wales have caused an uproar in the Parliament and brought thousands of Catholics to the streets in protest.
Fuelled by faith and a passion for life, Catholics have united with members of other denominations to condemn the laws and demand better treatment and support for mothers, children, and families.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was forced to delay the Upper House vote on the rushed Bill following a revolt in her own Liberal Party room.
Federal politicians including Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canavan have joined the chorus of voices against the changes, which passed the Lower House with the support of Labor and Nationals MPs.
A group of young adults from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn recently travelled to Sydney to join the pro-life rally. Turn to the middle pages to read about one young man’s motivation to speak up for unborn children.
By Joseph Doyle
Just past midday on Thursday the 8th of August in the lower house of the Parliament of New South Wales, I was sitting in the gallery listening to the politicians debating the current Abortion Bill. It had been a week since the introduction of the Greenwich Bill to Parliament. Among other extreme proposals, this Bill would allow for sex-selective abortions, late-term abortions on demand and the complete erosion of conscience rights for doctors in New South Wales.
Throughout the day, no matter the politicians said inside the walls of Parliament, I could faintly hear the sound of chanting coming from outside.
“We are the pro-life generation!”
Everyone in the room could hear it. And they haven’t stopped hearing it.
From the moment that this Bill was tabled there has been a vigorous response. Large numbers of pro-lifers, especially young people, have turned out in droves to be a witness for the sanctity of human life at all stages. From protesting outside Parliament to organising a petition with the signatures of over 80,000 people, the young and dedicated pro-life movement was making its voice heard.
Not with hatred. Not with bigotry. Just hundreds of young people trying to take a stand for the vulnerable and the voiceless. It’s been amazing to be a part of it.
I first got involved with the pro-life movement when I was just out of high school. I had always been very passionately pro-life as a result of my Catholic upbringing. However, after being invited to a pro-life training camp, I began to see how I might be able to play a small part in standing for life.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with politicians and engaging with people on street corners across Australia to change hearts and minds on abortion and the sanctity of life. I was one of the many young people who volunteered to keep vigil outside New South Wales Parliament overnight until sunrise the following day. And in the late hours of the night, three days later, we were still there outside Parliament, singing Amazing Grace as the Bill passed in the Lower House.
But the most significant role that I play is to be a part of this pro-life generation. I volunteer my time and efforts in whatever small way I can. Whether that involves engaging in street activism, attending protests or even just volunteering to help in a crisis pregnancy centre, all of these things go some ways towards standing for life.
Being openly pro-life means being willing to endure the vitriol that comes from standing against abortion. Everyone, myself included, who takes a stand for life in this country has to regularly face verbal abuse every time we say anything about the horrors of abortion.
But nothing can shake this conviction that we should do all that we can to defend the wondrous and sacred life present from the moment of conception. In the same breath, we also recognise the need for authentic and life-giving care for women in crisis pregnancy situations. To be pro-life today is to proclaim that we can do better to support and love them both than abortion.
At the time of writing, it seems unlikely that this Bill will be defeated. It seems likely that New South Wales will join the A.C.T. and several other states in effectively legalising abortion on demand. And yet, despite everything that is stacked against us, despite all of the vitriol that we receive on our university campuses, in the streets and the media, I join with hundreds of other young people to continue to stand for life in whatever way we can.
Because we are the pro-life generation.