Activists pro-choice and proud

Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights activists outside a fertility control clinic in East Melbourne, 2009. Photo: Indymedi

Pro-choice campaigners and activists will assemble outside a fertility control clinic in East Melbourne on July 23 for several reasons.

The clinic is under constant harassment from far-right Christian groups, including Right to Life and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. These groups rally outside the clinic every fourth Saturday of the month, and sometimes on weekdays too.

These groups mobilise their members to harass not only women using the clinic, but also women who just happen to walk past.

These groups want to revoke Victoria’s laws that decriminalised abortion. They are stepping up the pressure with their vicious method of campaigning until their demands are met.

The pro-choice rally will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of security guard Steve Rogers.

Anti-abortion fanatic Peter Knight murdered Rogers on July 16, 2001.

Immediately after the rally there will be a memorial service for Rogers.

The rally has been organised by the Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights, which has defended the clinic from the anti-abortion groups for the past six years.

The group conducts a clinic defense picket on the fourth Saturday of each month to coincide with the right wing protests.

At the July defense, pro-choicers will commemorate this anniversary, remember Steve Rogers and say “Never Again!”

Come rally for full reproductive rights for all women and join in building a movement that will stop the anti-abortionists and secure real choices for women.

[The rally will take place at 10am on July 23, 118 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne.]


I wish this "Pro-Choice" and "Pro-Life" business would end. Both groups are trying to take the moral high-ground in their naming scheme; can't we just call a spade a spade, and have pro- and anti-abortion? Although I get the feeling that many in the debate would quickly become unsettled if they couldn't hide behind a moralistic title....
There is a hypocrisy that exists in society. Doctors and nurses do all they can to save premature children, yet simultaneously the life of a baby can be taken through abortion. i dont believe that the Right to life groups etc.. are harrassing the woman who go into the abortion clinics, they would only be trying to help the woman understand that abortion is not the only choice they have.
But due to the negative connotations associated with the word 'abortion', it would thus remove the relatively equal ground that each of the groups stand on with such titles (which I do agree are moralistic).
It pains me to see such ignorance. My workplace is nearby the clinic, meaning I must pass it everyday. When the Right to Life group and other such protesters are present, they are by no means trying to be understanding or provide help for these women. They throw around vulgar and derogatory terms, accusing these women of being baby-killers and upon several occasions I have seen these protesters spitting at these women and the doctors and nurses at the clinic. They are not friendly people trying to 'help the woman understand', as it is the doctors who are providing this help. A friend of mine chose to terminate her pregnancy after the knowledge that the child had down syndrome, and the doctors supported her through this time, with regular counselling and assessments to ensure the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of the mother. No mother has abortions willy-nilly, and it is a trying decision to make. In most cases of abortion, it is necessary for the doctors and nurses that support these women to abort a child for the safety and wellbeing of the mother, in consideration of her circumstances. It is also important to note that in doing so medical staff are not hypocritical; no, they are doing their jobs and helping these women a great deal more than any of the harassing pro-life groups could ever do, and the ignorance in which you have written your comment saddens me.