Thousands attend pro-life demonstration in Germany

Thousands of people from across Germany participated in the annual Berlin March for Life on Saturday, with many more following the events live stream.

Despite the coronavirus, over 3,000 people were permitted to gather in Berlin to call on the country’s politicians to “[protect] the right to life of every person from conception to natural death”.

People carried signs, provided by event organisers Bundesverband Lebensrecht eV [Federal Association of the Law of Life], reading “every person is unique” and “We love life!”.

The former Vice President of Germany’s federal parliament, Johannes Singhammer, thanked all participants in the march “for standing up for the right to life of all people so publicly and visibly”.

Several counter-demonstrations also took place at the same time as the Berlin March for Life.  

In addition, unannounced rallies, involving topless abortion activists, attempted to disrupt the family-friendly pro-life event at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, but they were prevented by police.

Record attendances at pro-life marches before coronavirus

Due to COVID-19, the organisers of annual pro-life marches have had to amend how they run their events, with many running hybrid events with online and in-person audiences.

Earlier this year, more than 40,000 people streamed Ireland’s Rally for Life in addition to 34 local and socially-distanced rallies taking place across the country before the livestream.

Before many parts of the world went into ‘lockdown’ or put safeguards on large events, pro-life demonstrations were seeing record attendance numbers, including in Berlin.

Already this year, a record-breaking 9,000 people attended the March for Life in Chicago, Illinois. A significant proportion of Gibraltar’s population gathered in February to encourage people to vote against introducing abortion to the region in a now postponed referendum.

Last year, the Berlin March for Life was attended by over 8000 participants – a significant increase on the approximately 5,300 people who attended the 2018 demonstration.

Additionally, over 50,000 Slovakians called on the country’s leaders to protect unborn babies. Pro-life demonstrations in Northern Ireland attracted over 20,000 participants, over 11,000 marched for life in the Netherlands, over 5,000 people marched for life in the UK, and over 2,000 people attended New Zealand’s March for Life.

Pro-life demonstration held against extreme abortion legislation in New Zealand

Over 1,000 people took part in a pro-life demonstration in New Zealand against the extreme abortion legislation passed by the Labour Government earlier this year.

Campaigners participating in the Christchurch March for Life carried signs reading “Both Lives Matter” and “Love them Both”.

Earlier this year, New Zealand MPs voted to introduce the most severe abortion law in the world by 68 votes to 51.

The new law scraps the previous 20-week limit and will allow terminations on-demand, for any reason, up to birth.

Additionally, there is now no requirement doctors must be involved with an abortion ‘procedure’ and MPs – including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – voted against an amendment requiring medical care for babies born alive after a ‘failed’ termination.

The new law has also legalised sex-selective abortion.

New proposals could deny pregnant women practical and emotional support

Now, just four-months after introducing the extreme abortion law, a New Zealand Labour MP has introduced a Bill to make it even worse.

Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill would deny women practical and emotional support outside abortion clinics.

The proposal states this will be done through the creation of so-called “safe areas” up to 150 metres from any part of an abortion facility, with a fine of up to $1,000 for anyone deemed to be breaking the rules.

New Zealanders ignored

In light of extremely low public support and falling support from MPs, Jacinda Ardern’s Government rushed the final stages of the Bill’s progress through Parliament while politicians, the media and the rest of the country were distracted dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

This included progressing the final sitting of the committee stage and the Bill’s third and final reading through parliament on the same day.

Polling conducted by Curia Research, revealed strong opposition to the new law by the public in New Zealand, and in particular by women.

Only 2% of women said they support abortion being available on-demand right up to birth. Meanwhile,  93% of women opposed sex-selective abortion being legal and 94% of women supported the previous legal standards for abortion providers and premises.

In addition, over 40,000 New Zealanders signed a petition urging the Government to hold a referendum, giving citizens an opportunity to repeal the extreme law.

To put this in perspective, if New Zealand had the same population as the UK, and the same proportion of the population signed the petition, this would equate to well over 500,000 signatures.

The petition’s author, Pamela McIlwraith, has said: “In my view the abortion legislation was rushed through Parliament while the entire country was distracted with COVID-19.

“I think there needs to be a referendum so the people can have their say—MPs should not be able to vote against giving the people their say in such important matters, especially a law legalising full term abortion.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern under fire

Ahead of the election, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has been criticised by an MP for supporting the introduction of extreme abortion legislation.

Responding to recent comments Ardern made that New Zealand could be doing more to improve infant mortality, Whanganui MP Harete Hipango said the “hypocrisy is astounding,” given the Prime Minister supported the Abortion Legislation Bill. 

In a Facebook post last month, Hipango stated, “This recent stance by the PM is rank and riles me as a woman who is a mother and has also advocated for children’s welfare all my professional working life as a lawyer.” 

With the 2020 election just several weeks away, Labour MP and Justice Minister Andrew Little leapt to Jacinda’s defence and said there was “no such thing as full-term abortion, people who say that are idiots.”

However, National list party MP Agnes Loheni, who was on the select committee for the abortion legislation, said the legislation “definitely” supports abortion up to birth.

“What is written in our legislation definitely supports that you could have an abortion post 20 weeks up to birth. If you look at the words yourself – there are no hoops to jump through because it is so broad and ill-defined. In my view the unborn child now is the equivalent of having an appendix removed,” she said.

She added that many MP’s who were for the bill changed their vote on the third reading because they felt uncomfortable with the “loose terms around the criteria for late term abortions”.

Hipango was also supported in her comments against the Labour Prime Minister by fellow National MP, Simon O’Connor. In the comment section of Hipango’s Facebook post, O’Connor said the Government had “pushed through” the law ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown and that aborting a full-term baby “sure has” been legalised.

Over 40,000 participate in Ireland’s Rally for Life

More than 40,000 people streamed Ireland’s Rally for Life last week, according to organisers of the event, who are now aiming to grow that audience tenfold in the coming weeks.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Rally for Life took place online, with 34 local and socially-distanced rallies taking place across the country before the livestream began.

Across the country hundreds of people took part in socially-distanced pro-life displays, carrying signs reading “united for life” and “abortion is a pandemic”.

The Rally for Life Committee, who are hoping to keep up that momentum despite the move online, told Gript: “Having 40,000 people tune in live to the Rally Fest shows just how alive and vibrant the pro-life community is, and how powerful the message for Life can be.

“We had lots of families watching in groups so the numbers watching are likely even bigger, but we’re thrilled to have had a minimum of 40,000 people joining in the live events.

“Now, the plan is to grow that tenfold, reaching 300,000 or 400,000 people watching the live events online. It would mean the Rally effect could continue throughout the whole summer, cutting right through lockdown with a clear compelling pro-life message.”

Before COVID-19 caused many parts of the world to go into ‘lockdown’, pro-life demonstrations were seeing record attendance numbers, including in Ireland.

In 2018, up to 100,000 people took part in Ireland’s largest pro-life rally urging people to defend the right to life ahead of a major referendum on whether or not the country should introduce abortion legislation.

Sadly, months after that rally, 66% of people voted in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment. As a result, abortion ‘services’ commenced on 1 January 2019.

Last month, it was revealed a total of 6,666 abortions were carried out in Ireland in 2019.

Earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of people attended the US March for Life, a record-breaking 9,000 people attended the March for Life in Chicago, Illinois, and over 8,000 people gathered for the Celebrate Life rally in Denver, Colorado carrying signs that read, “Civil rights begin in the womb” and “I am the pro-life generation.”

In 2019, over 50,000 Slovakians called on the country’s leaders to protect unborn babies. Pro-life demonstrations in Northern Ireland have reached over 20,000 people, while over 11,000 marched for life in the Netherlands, and over 2,000 people attended New Zealand’s March for Life.

Thousands rally against extreme abortion up-to-birth proposals in South Australia

Thousands of pro-life campaigners gathered in South Australia this week to urge the state Government to drop plans to introduce abortion, for any reason, up to birth.

Over 3,500 attended Adelaide’s Walk for Life on the weekend carrying signs which read, “Abortion Up To Birth, Not in SA,” “Choose Life” and “Love them Both”.

The event was organised by Love Adelaide, a pro-life organisation concerned by the extreme abortion law changes being proposed in South Australia. 

Love Adelaide founder Jodie Pickard said the Walk For Life event was the largest pro-life rally held in South Australia over the past decade. 

She told The Advertiser: “Our laws allow abortion up to 28 weeks, past viability and they see no legal, moral or ethical reason to consider extending what is already extreme abortion law in itself.” 

Speaking at the Walk for Life, pro-life MP Claire Scriven described the proposed laws as “damaging and devastating”.

“It’s fair to say that generally people expect that new laws that are introduced will help our society or will help conditions for individuals within our society.

“These proposals do neither of those two things. These proposals abandon women and these proposals abandon their babies.” 

Abortion is already available up to 28 weeks’ gestation in South Australia if two doctors agree a woman’s physical or mental health is endangered by pregnancy, or if there is a risk the child is likely to be born with a serious abnormality.

However, the Attorney-General’s Office is currently drafting more extreme abortion laws after receiving a detailed list of recommendations from the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI).

In February 2019, the South Australian Attorney-General Vickie Chapman MP asked SALRI to examine the current South Australian law on abortion and propose reforms that would “improve the efficiency of health service provision and access”.

In response, SALRI issued a report, in October, calling on the Attorney General to fully ‘decriminalise’ abortion in the Australian state, along with an extensive list of extreme abortion proposals. The term ‘decriminalise’ is a misnomer used by abortion activists to describe the removal of almost all current safeguards around abortion.

The Attorney General has since announced he plans to adopt most of the extreme proposals put forward by SALRI, with a bill expected to be presented to the state parliament in the coming months.  

The proposed new abortion regime will allow abortion, for any reason, up to birth with the involvement of one medical practitioner, providing that after 23 weeks the medical practitioner discusses the abortion ‘procedure’ with another practitioner. 

The Attorney General’s Office will seek to remove a requirement that abortions must take place in prescribed hospitals. Additionally, they accepted a recommendation that no restrictions should be placed on the use of telehealth medicine abortions, also informally known as ‘facetime abortions’.

In practice, abortions could then be available in school nurse clinics, pharmacies, university health clinics and even in mobile abortion clinics, potentially during school lunch hours.

The Attorney General has also adopted SALRI’s recommendation that there should be “no legislative prohibition in South Australia on gender selective abortion”.  

The new bill will also propose the inclusion of so-called “safe access zones” which seek to block and prevent any peaceful demonstrations and help from being offered anywhere abortions may take place. The prescribed distance will be 150m. 

Legislative changes will also be made to allow nurses and midwives to prescribe powerful abortion-inducing drugs. There appears to be nothing in the documentation that would prevent abortion pills being from being taken at locations such as schools, colleges etc, possibly under coercion from third-parties. 

In 2017, 4,349 abortions took place in the South Australia. 

Last year, the Australian state of New South Wales voted in favour of an extreme abortion bill permitting terminations up to 22 weeks without any kind of restriction and up to birth with the consent of two doctors.

In neighbouring New Zealand, a similar bill to introduce de-facto abortion for any reason up to birth is currently going through parliament.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“It’s so good to see such large number of people out standing up for the unborn and women facing unplanned pregnancies, and against this extreme abortion proposal. This follows a massive backlash in New South Wales last year when a similar extreme abortion law was proposed there.

“We should not be desensitised to the severity of what is being proposed in South Australia. Children are born at 22 weeks in developed countries and go on to thrive. Abortion at this late stage, and even up until birth, whether in South Australia or in anywhere else, is especially barbaric.”