Jason Rushton, Australia correspondent

Pro-aborts to counter-protest huge pro-life sign in Australia

Jason Rushton, Australia correspondent
Jason Rushton, Australia correspondent

Sydney, Australia, August 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A pro-abortion counter-protest will begin in Melbourne this week against a 400-foot banner representing the thousands of unborn who have lost their lives to abortion in Victoria.

As LifeSiteNews.com reported in March, local pro-lifers have been standing outside the car park of Victoria’s Parliament on each sitting day this year, beside a green banner marked with one white cross for each child lost to abortion since January 2012.

In 2008, 72 of the 128 parliamentarians in Victoria voted to enact the most liberal abortion laws in the world outside of China, the consequences of which included a 600% increase in late-term abortions at the Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria by 2010.

Before Parliament’s winter recess, the banner was 90-metres-long. Next week it will be 130-metres-long. At least 17,000 abortions are performed in Victoria each year, according to current Medicare rebate statistics*.

The Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights (CWRR) counter-protest is planned for Tuesday. Although the pro-life vigilers have been present on each of the 27 sitting days of parliament so far this year, next Tuesday they have already made plans to be in Canberra for the National Marriage Day Rally.

The CWRR plans to be on the other side of Macarthur Street with “HONK IF UR PRO-CHOICE” signs.

“With our presence and with each honk of a car horn, we will remind MPs that the vast majority of Victorians believe in a woman’s right to choose,” their blog stated.

David Forster, the creator of the pro-life banner, said: “No worries. They will get no more than six volunteers. They have much more trouble motivating their people than we do with ours. The politicians have seen us there 27 times so far, with another 24 to go this year. They are yet to be there once.”


The CWRR blog also quotes the final report of the Victorian Law Reform Commission which paved the way for the 2008 laws. According to this report, the majority of Australian’s support “a woman’s right to choose”.

“Unfortunately I believe they are right: most Victorians would say they support a woman’s right to choose,” David Forster responded. “But they don’t know the facts about abortion - they are kept in the dark about its destructive consequences. That is why we are displaying this banner. Everyone shows amazement to see just how many abortions are taking place and if they were told the truth about the after-effects of abortion I am sure they would be less cavalier about saying it is merely ‘a woman’s right to choose’.”

The CWRR gathers outside the East Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic once a month in opposition to the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, or as they put it, “to prevent a rabid mob of anti-woman bigots from laying siege to the medical facility and terrorising the staff and clients.”

Previously in Green Left Weekly, CWRR organizer Debbie Brennan called pro-lifers “misogynist thugs”, “anti-abortion zealots”, “women-hating creeps” and “anti-choice bigots.”

In 2011, the CWRR organized a small rally before the annual March for the Babies in Melbourne, and plans to do so again this year.

The CWRR did not respond to a request for comment from LifeSiteNews.

More than 100 volunteers will be needed to support the full length of the banner by the year’s end. Anybody who wishes to assist should contact Therese at [email protected]

*In 2010-2011, there were 16,280 claims in Victoria/Tasmania for medicare item number 35643: “Evacuation of the contents of the gravid [i.e. pregnant] uterus by curettage or suction curettage”.

The same year there were 299 claims for medicare item 16525: “Management of second trimester labour, with or without induction, for intrauterine foetal death, gross foetal abnormality or life threatening maternal disease.”

Some of either of these claims may be as a result of miscarriage rather than a procured abortion.

These medicare statistics do not include abortions after 24-weeks, abortions for which no rebate is claimed, or abortions performed on public patients. For further discussion about the intricacies of abortion statistics in Australia, see Pratt, Biggs and Buckmaster, February 2005. Australian Parliamentary Research Brief no. 9 2004–05. How many abortions are there in Australia? A discussion of abortion statistics, their limitations, and options for improved statistical collection.

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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website, www.babycaust.de, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” Katholisch.de editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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