June 15th 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Anthony Albanese: NSW left factional warlord takes charge

EDITORIAL Religious freedom: the political and legislative challenges

CANBERRA OBSERVED Will Bill Shorten emerge from the shadows again?

FEDERAL ELECTION Queensland voted for jobs, life and country

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Keating's 'nutters': Don't blame the messenger

ECONOMICS AND SOCIETY Health policy is not immune from neoliberal infection

HUMAN RIGHTS Canada accepts Asia Bibi and family as refugees

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Families keeping the faith: the Benedict and other options

IDEOLOGY Feminist claims for equality, Part 1: The context

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki, Part 3: More on science and ancient cultures

LIFE ISSUES Families, youth boost crowd at WA Rally for Life

MUSIC Muse of delight: The laugh ascending

CINEMA Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

BOOK REVIEW Pioneering aviator's flights and fancies

BOOK REVIEW Catholic resistance in a forgotten war

BOOK REVIEW AFA patron's long life of public service


NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal, June 5-6, 2019: An account from the live streaming

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Families, youth boost crowd at WA Rally for Life

by Warwick D'Silva

News Weekly, June 15, 2019

On Tuesday May 14 a crowd of over 2,000 from all generations gathered outside Parliament House to mourn the loss of 173, 000 unborn children 21 years since abortion laws were passed in Western Australia. The rally was organised by the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life, which includes the NCC and the AFA. Families came together as did youth groups and church leaders all to pray, petition and give witness.

The large turnout of people in a cold night in May shows that many West Australians value life from conception to natural death, as highlighted by Archbishop Emeritus Hickey’s opening statement on the sanctity of life and during his prayers for the unborn.

Rev. Peter Abetz from the Australian Christian Lobby mentioned at the rally the most dangerous place for a baby is in the mother’s womb. Those especially at risk are those diagnosed before birth with Down syndrome, spina bifida or dwarfism.

Steve Klomp, a director of 40 Days for Life and president of Right to Life (WA), explained to the crowd that laws are being considered to create bubble zones. These are areas around abortion clinics from which those praying outside and offering support, information and counselling may be expelled and face charges. Such bubble zones are in force in Tasmania and Victoria.

Many women who visit abortion clinics are seeking options. Some who encounter professional counsellors outside clinics discover other paths of support they may not have known about and as a result decide to keep their babies. With laws restricting the presence of these optional counsellors within view or reach, the effect will be only to add to the number of abortions each year.

Meanwhile, the debate on assisted suic­ide is due to occur later this year. Nick Goiran MLC addressed the rally on this issue, particularly mentioning the possibility of wrongful deaths occurring if this legislation passes, as well as the risks of elder abuse.

The alternative to euthanasia is palliative care, just as much as the alternative to abortion is adoption.

Palliative care is the most comprehensive and holistic treatment and care service for those nearing the end of their life. Palliative care seeks to treat not only the physical ailments but also the mental health of the patient. It should be fully operational and available in this state. Labor MLA Margaret Quirk said that informing people about end-of-life choices at this time was paramount.

The time is now if you are in WA to express your concerns to your state upper-house Members of Parliament about this possible legislation. Maryka Groenewald at Australian Christians, Darryl Budge at Family Voice, Peter Abetz at ACL, and Warwick D’Silva at the National Civic Council will be able to direct your efforts in writing to and visiting your key upper-house MPs.

On Wednesday September 4, at noon, a rally will be held outside Parliament House seeking to stop euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Many young people were also present at the rally. Among them was a large group of university-age volunteers from LifeChoice Notre Dame Fremantle, who handed out flyers for their annual summer camp.

Young people should be inspired to follow their example and get involved. Tell the next generation to join groups like LifeChoice Australia, which is active on campuses nationwide, seeking to inform the next generation of the sanctity of life at all stages.

LifeChoice Notre Dame Fremantle’s annual camp trains youth in how to articulate their concerns on life issues to peers and to be compassionate with those who feel there is no other choice and offer them one.

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm