Anti-choice antics backfire

April 8, 1998

Anti-choice antics backfire

By Sarah Stephen

PERTH — The tactics of the anti-choice movement, led by the religious right, have backfired.

On March 30, when state parliament resumed, an anti-choice rally was held outside Parliament House. A crowd, estimated by the press at 2000, heard speakers claim that laws have encouraged "promiscuous lifestyles" and opened the door to "homosexual excesses". Baptist Pastor Andrew Lansdowne told the gathering he had a right to speak on abortion: "Abortion is a women's issue, we're told. How dare the femi-Nazis try to silence men in this debate."

The anti-choice Coalition for the Defence of Human Life, headed by Richard Egan, released stolen medical records from an abortion clinic which listed the names of 24 women who had had abortions. A ghoulish display of abortion instruments and bloodied gloves appeared on the front page of the West Australian on March 31 to accompany the story about the stolen records.

The right's vulgar tactics turned out to be disastrous for them. There was a flood of letters and calls to politicians and newspapers from people disgusted at the harm being caused by the right's campaign of hatred and fear.

The anti-choice leaders have threatened to take their bigoted fight to the abortion clinics if WA's abortion laws are repealed.

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