You’ve not heard from me for a couple of weeks because my wife and I have been “down under” in Australia where I just finished a two-week lecture tour. Our ports of call were various cities and towns up and down the Eastern Coast of an island nearly the size of America.
The timing for this trip was clearly a God-thing as two key legislative battles were brewing in the states of Queensland and Victoria—meeting with mixed results.
The “main event” was the annual Cherish Life Queensland conference where I spoke on two issues—men and abortion and I provided an update on adult stem cells versus embryonic stem cells.
Like Americans in recent years, few people of Australia had given serious thought to the emotional pain of fathers who’ve lost children to abortion. During my remarks I shared why men are affected, identified their symptoms and discussed ways to treat these symptoms. Audience response was universal. Their eyes had been opened, and some were able to connect the dots with family members. All expressed a profound gratitude for being enlightened. Some even planned to begin an outreach to hurting fathers.
A majority of the eight-city itinerary involved speaking on men and abortion. Additional topics included: Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby body parts, winning the abortion war in America, my personal pro-life journey and sharing successful American pro-life strategies. All were followed by robust questions from the audience who were truly engaged and eager to learn more.
Perhaps the best impact my visit had was to provide encouragement for their ongoing pro-life efforts. Many worried they might be laboring in vain but said our interaction gave them tremendous hope and inspiration.
As I spoke in the state of Queensland, extreme pro-abortion legislation, aggressively supported by the Green Party, was being introduced. The bill, if enacted, would’ve been worse than Roe v. Wade. It would’ve allowed abortion for literally any reason throughout pregnancy and doctors or other medical personnel would’ve been forced to participate in the killing of innocent preborn children. Pro-life doctors could have avoided actually performing the abortions but would’ve been compelled to refer women to abortionists.
Thankfully, the bill was tabled but pro-lifers statewide must keep their eyes and ears open because pro-abortion activists don’t go away. They’ll try again and again.
The news wasn’t as encouraging in the state of Victoria. In 2008 the Abortion Law Reform Act, an extreme pro-abortion bill, was passed by the State Parliament. It allows abortion throughout pregnancy. State Member of Parliament, Dr. Rachel Carling-Jenkins, introduced the Infant Viability Bill, which would stop abortion at 24 weeks and require appropriate medical care for premature babies born at 24 weeks or beyond.
It was a very limited proposal in the general context of abortion, but was estimated to be the most viable option in such a liberal, pro-abortion environment as Victoria. Sadly, the bill failed by a vote of 27-11. Dr. Carling-Jenkins witnessed self-professed pro-life MPs cowardly wilt in the face of stiff opposition. But pro-abortion politicians haven’t seen the last of this hero of Australia’s unborn babies and their mothers. Dr. Carling-Jenkins has vowed to keep working to protect the nation’s most valuable natural resource—their unborn children.
This was clearly the most grueling international itinerary to date, however, I’m not complaining. The apparent educational and motivational effect for my fellow pro-lifers in Australia made the long plane rides, jetlag and general fatigue worth the effort.
And we’ve met new friends who’ll be friends for life. The laid-back culture of Australia was enormously appealing and we felt welcomed wherever we went. Even though we’re back home, a piece of our hearts remain there. Please keep the Australian pro-life movement in your prayers. It’s an uphill battle, but they have justice, science, compassion and ethics on their side—a winning combination for sure!