By Michael Soh
Some 1,500 pro-life activists recently took to the streets of Perth and the steps of Parliament House in the 2016 Walk and Rally for Life.
The annual event is designed to remember the lives of children who have been aborted since the practice was legalised in Western Australia in 1998.
The record attendance this year was the biggest since pro-life rallies started in 1999, and nearly doubled that of last year’s attendance of nearly 800 people.
Proceedings began at the courtyard of St Mary’s Cathedral, where the crowds gathered and sang the hymn, How Deep The Fathers’ Love For Us.
St Brigid’s Northbridge priest-in-charge, Father John Piumatti, then read a statement from Archbishop-Emeritus Barry Hickey and led attendees in prayer before giving a blessing right before the march departed.
The march went through the Hay Street Mall and surrounding streets, finishing at Parliament House where the main rally began.
President of the Coalition for The Defence of Human Life, Dwight Randall, said he believes that the attendance also showed support for the pro-life Members of Parliament present at the rally, six of whom addressed the crowd on their defence of human life.
“Since 1998, there have been approximately 8,000 abortions per year and the tally now stands at about 150,000,” Mr Randall said.
“We’re here tonight to remember those children who have been deprived of life under the law that we have in this state.”
Member for Southern River, Peter Abetz MLA, was one of the pro-life politicians who addressed the crowd that night.
“It is important is to keep the issue alive to make people realise that the old myth – that an embryo is a blob of tissue – is untenable in this modern age,” Mr Abetz said.
“We know from ultrasounds that, even at a very early stage, there’s the fingers, there’s the head, there’s a little baby in the mother’s womb and we need to give every assistance to the woman to carry through that pregnancy so that she can give birth to her child and look after it.”
Member for South Metropolitan Region, Nicolas Goiran, spoke about a breakthrough in an investigation into late-term abortions in the state.
“The good news, friends, is that, last year, the then-WA Health Minister finally agreed that, for the first time in Western Australian history, the panel of six doctors who approved these late-term abortions must now be accountable and must annually. in August of every year. provide a report explaining why they have authorised these late-term abortions,” Mr Goiran told the crowd that night.
“And I want to thank you because, without your support coming here each year, without writing, without the petitions, it would’ve been impossible for us to get that level of accountability because I can tell you that the only reason that it’s happened is, humanly speaking, just out of sheer perseverance and the Minister in the end being fed up with enquiries on this issue.”