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The Lives of Choice v Anti-Choice

January 26, 2012

It’s a scene  repeated across Australia, six days a week.  A woman seeking information on her reproductive choices approaches the entrance of a health facility or clinic.  Before she can enter she will be offered “help”, she will be offered counselling, and if she rebuffs those offers she will barraged with calls of “Don’t kill your little baby”.

This intimidation and harassment comes from the religiously devout who believe they are doing God’s work.  They are the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and they won’t stop till every “unborn child” is rescued.

Helpers of God’s Precious Infants was founded by Monsignor Philip J Reilly in Brooklyn New York, and its reach has spread to Australia.   In Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Albury you will find them at their prayer sites.

The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants  profess to maintaining a “loving and prayerful presence” outside of clinics, but experience has shown that their love is limited.  That they resort to verbal and physical intimidation against those attending and working at these clinics is well documented.

Monsignor Philip J Reilly is currently visiting Australia to attend the Australia Day Life & Family National Conference outside of Albury.

Hosted by Family Life International Australia from January 26th to January 29th, self-professed prolife advocates will discuss issues such as:

  • “How Family Planning Spreads HIV/AIDS” with Mr Steve Mosher
  • “The Church and Homosexuality” with Father Terence Mary Naughtin
  • “Euthanasia – Impacts on the Healthcare of the Elderly” with Dr John Obeid
  • “Marriage in God’s Plan– the Pivot of Civilisation” with Mr Eamonn Keane
  • “The Real Presence Conquers the Demonic Presence – The Evils of Abortion” with Father John Rizzo

Monsignor Philip J Reilly will speak at the Conference Gala Dinner.  His topic? “Be Not Afraid to Proclaim the Gospel of Life with Honesty and Love”.  I’m sure this is what the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants believe they are doing when they intimidate all those entering a clinic.

Family Life International Australia and  Helpers of God’s Precious Infants profess to be prolife, but what won’t be discussed at this conference is the torment their presence causes the women attending these clinics, for the lives of these women mean less to them than the potential life they carry within them.

What won’t be discussed at this conference are those lives damaged by clergy abusing children.   They  won’t discuss the actions of the Catholic Church which sheltered the guilty and demonised the victims.  They certainly won’t discuss those who took their own lives to end the pain of dealing with the memory of the abuse, for the lives of these children mean less to them than their church.

It seems some lives are more important than others.

How does anyone come to have such perverse views?

We can look to the founder of Family Life International, Father Paul Marx.  His approach to the family was to oppose all “anti-life evils” such as classroom sex  education, contraception, infidelity, promiscuity, IVF, pornography,  divorce, homosexual activity, and population control.

You can imagine that quality of life wasn’t high on his priorities.

We can also imagine the spread of STIs without contraception.  We can imagine the teenage pregnancies, the broken families and the suicides of pregnant or homosexual youth.  We can imagine all these because they happen today where “prolife” voices have too much influence.

One can only imagine who will attend this conference.  Undoubtedly it will attract the faithful, the fervent and the fundamental.

Will it attract any of our so-called “pro-life feminists”?  Will it attract any members of Australian parliaments?  Would they admit to attending the conference and listening to Monsignor Philip J Reilly, whose organisation contributes to the harassment of women around Australia?

Do we have a right to know if they attend the conference as it could influence their views and their votes in Parliament?

As a proponent of choice, I believe we need that information to inform our choice.

As for those who stalk the footpaths outside clinics, should they be allowed to do so freely?  Or should councils look to enforcing exclusion zones?

One Comment
  1. Not bad for a first blog – try and condense it a little more and focus on your two main points. Good luck, Chris.

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