abortion, abortion stigma, anti-abortion, anti-choice, Catholic Church, Fertility Control Clinic, harass, Helpers of God's Precious Infants, hypocrisy, keyed, Melbourne City Council, prochoice, prolife, Rosary Parade, St Patrick's Cathedral, stigma, vandalism
An open letter to the Rosary Parade in Melbourne
To the participants of the Rosary Parade in Melbourne,
Yesterday one of your brethren committed a most unchristian act and did so in front of each and every one of you.
I’d like to know what are you willing to do about it?
The fourth Saturday of each month is the regular date for you and other anti-abortion Catholics to attend a “Pro-Life Mass” at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne, and then participate in a Rosary Parade to the location of the Fertility Control Clinic.
I stand among the defenders which yesterday kept your Rosary Parade to the opposite side of Wellington Parade, away from the entrance to the clinic.
Yesterday a young man, whose partner was inside the clinic, was standing with the clinic defenders on the clinic side of Wellington Parade. Understandably he felt more comfortable with our support than yours.
During the stand off he moved his car closer to the exit, parking in an empty spot in front of your Rosary Parade. As he rejoined us I warned him to keep an eye on his car in case one of the Rosary Parade was to “key it”, but I didn’t actually expect any damage to occur.
I was being interviewed by a journalist from the Herald Sun when your Rosary Parade completed its prayers and headed back towards St Patrick’s Cathedral. The clinic defenders packed away their banners and it was then that the young man returned from inspecting his car and informed us that one of the Rosary Parade participants had “keyed” his car.
I was shocked but an inspection of his car confirmed that someone had indeed vandalised the left rear door.
The scratches are clearly visible. The owner said the dint was already there.
Police in attendance inspected the vandalism and the Herald Sun journalist and his accompanying photographer both noted the damage.
I returned to the clinic side of the road with the young man and his partner was waiting for him outside the clinic. They departed in their vehicle and the clinic defenders departed as the clinic closed.
I’d like to ask the participants of the Rosary Parade if you will identify the person among them who perpetrated this vandalism. Will you cast out this this person who has no respect for personal property? Will you suggest that the individual responsible turn themselves in to police?
I’d like to ask do you feel entitled to carry out this kind of vandalism, just as you feel entitled to harass women outside of clinics? Does the inaction of the Melbourne City Council make you feel empowered to take such actions? How can you feel so self assured in your beliefs, that you feel you are entitled to push your beliefs upon others?
It is staggering to me that you feel such beliefs entitle you to harass others, stigmatise others and to vandalise their possessions.
It may be that the Herald Sun photographer inadvertently captured a picture of person who carried out this vandalism. Do you worry that their actions will reflect poorly upon you? Maybe not as you care little for the opinion of the majority of Victorians who support the legalisation of abortion and find your presence in front of clinics disgusting.
The Catholic Church has a sad history of protecting paedophile priests, so maybe it’s wishful thinking to think that this lesser crime will spark a desire among you to dob in one of your own. I hope you prove me wrong but I don’t think I should be holding my breath.
Contacted for comment Trudi Aiashi from 40 Days for Life (and one time DLP candidate for Eltham at the 2010 Victorian Election) responds:
“We have contacted the police in attendance on that day. They informed us that the damage was pre-existing.”
I really didn’t expect any better from them. Of course they would claim the young man lied about the damage.