Rally for Life (On the steps of Parliament House May 2004)

Filed on 30 May 2004 in Media Releases category. Print This Page

Mr Kim Beazley Senior once observed (News Weekly, 4 May 2002) that supporters of abortion usually dodge the fact that we are killing the young and pretending somehow that this is not taking life.

We use all sorts of terms to disguise the truth. We talk about clumps of cells or sophisticated terms like blastocysts instead of human embryos and human life. We talk about products of abortion instead of babies. And we disguise what the process of abortion really is like.

There was a case in Victoria 3 years ago where a mother was pregnant with twins and had one of them aborted because she feared she couldn’t cope and – you will love the term – this was called ‘foetal reduction’. Consider that for a moment: how would you react to that? And how do you think the twin would feel? No matter what dilemmas the mother found herself in, I think we would all react with dismay and horror and thinking of what the twin might suffer when he or she realised. Now here’s the surprising thing – the general public thought likewise.

The Herald Sun conducted a poll with the question: “Should abortions of unwanted twins be allowed?” The result: 95.6% voted no to the abortion, and only 4.4% voted yes! Doesn’t this say something about our perception as to whether the twin was a real human person.

We may try to ignore it but we do know the distinction between right and wrong. We do have a soul. We may dishonour our inbuilt moral standards but we do know they are there – we are more, and should be more, than animals. The human being is created in the Image of God and deep down we know this.

When does human life begin? Consider the ‘designer child,’ the child created for the purpose of saving an existing child’s life with a correct tissue match. The ‘designer child’ knows: “Mummy, what would have happened to me if my tissue match had not been right?” But you were just a clump of cells, dear. “But Mummy it was still me, my hair colour was determined and my eye colour was determined.” But you weren’t really a ‘person’ then, dear. “Mummy, even the shape of my smile was determined – that was me!”

The process of embryo selection results in destruction of unsuitable embryos and the ‘designer child’ could have been one of these. But you see, even though it is not yet expressed, individuality is inherent and real in the genetic programming from the time of fertilisation!

We may argue when life has ‘value’ but we may not argue when it begins. The embryo is human life.

And once we get into the question of when life becomes of value and when is that value lost, then we have lost the battle of what it means to be human. Can we define human life by its potential? Can we define it by the degree of disability? Also before us in this state is the question of whether to allow embryo selection to eliminate certain hereditary problems that can be detected at the embryo stage. What diseases and problems will we select and how far do we go in deciding what is a disability? Will deafness be regarded as a disability in terms of whether a life is of value? There are those who wish to select their children on this basis and those who have impairment of hearing in our world are justifiably outraged by this.

How important is this? Unless we get this right we lose the battle not only with embryo research but also with genetic manipulation and selection of embryos, euthanasia, and also ultimately cloning. It is the most important ethical and moral issue of the 21st Century.

It is as fundamental as you can get – like the introductory articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…
everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

We must take the risk of being distinctive and tell the truth. We do have a soul. Natural law is imprinted in our hearts. We may be ridiculed but there will be a part inside most people that will resonate with this truth and we must keep on telling it.

What can we do?
We can all pray.
But we also need to say what needs to be said as God’s people and watchmen. We need to do a Jeremiah and say: do not shed innocent blood in this place.
We need to reach our young with values education and accurate information.
And there will be some of us that will actually have to stand for parliament. We have a window of opportunity in Australia to influence the course of history.

Now is the time for a combined Christian Voice
Now is the time for boldness and authority
Now is the time for Christian voices at all levels of community including political
Now is the time to uphold a Christian worldview to our culture
Now is the time to defend what it means to be human.
Now is the time for Australia to Choose Life
Now is the time!

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