The story so far
In early 2002 a few friends from around Brisbane, Australia, met together to discuss whether the taking of non-violent direct action to stop abortion was the right and responsible thing to be doing. Each of the group had already been involved for many years in opposing abortion in a variety of ways.
The discussion that day led them to the conclusion that it was not sufficient to be just saying that abortion kills children. If that statement was correct, as they believed it was, then direct intervention to try and stop that killing needed to be taking place. Thus the group, Protect Life, was formed to carry out that specific objective.
On April 16 that year four people carried out the first sit-in in front of the doors of one of Brisbane’s four abortion death-houses. On subsequent days that week similar actions were conducted at the other places of death. In the years since then about 60 sit-ins have been held.
- To stand up for truth is nothing! For truth you have to sit down in jail.
The make-up of the group has varied over the years with some people having to leave and a few new people getting involved. The number of people prepared to risk being arrested at any one sit-in has ranged from five down to, on some occasions, just one. The hoped for influx of new participants has not yet occurred.
The police have usually been called when those sitting-in have refused to move. Sometimes the police have just repeatedly pulled the activists out of the way to ensure that people could gain entry, but most often arrests have been carried out. Initially the group members were charged and subsequently convicted for failing to obey a police order to move on. Convictions under this charge resulted in increasingly steep fines being given. Some have chose to pay the fines, while others have chosen to do community service, and others have refused to pay the fines on principle.
After many convictions there was a success in court against the failure to move on charge and so since then those involved have been charged with the offence of unlawfully remaining on property. This is a more serious charge as a conviction can result in jail. One activist has received a six month suspended sentence and another has spent several periods of a few months in jail.
So far no lives are known to have been saved through the actions. Whether or not there has been success in that regard, the group continues to believe that it is necessary and right to directly intervene to try and stop fellow human beings being killed. The actions are intended to be continued.
Rationale for the actions
- Truth demands action.
The deliberate taking of innocent human life is always wrong. All civilised societies have understood and accepted this fundamental principle.
Human life normally begins at fertilisation when a sperm and egg come together to form a genetically unique, new individual. New human lives can also be generated when one embryo spontaneously splits to form two or more embryos, as occurs when identical twins or triplets are formed. Potentially, human lives can also be generated through various cloning techniques. By whatever process life is initiated, this is literally when each of our lives began.
Abortion involves the deliberate destruction of innocent, young human lives.
Abortion is therefore wrong.
Young human beings are just as deserving of care and protection as are all other human beings. Allowing the killing of human beings just because they are young can no more be justified than was allowing the killing of human beings just because they were black or because they were Jewish.
Clearly, unborn human beings cannot defend themselves from harm. Just as other defenceless human beings should be helped if their lives are about to be taken, so should unborn human beings also be helped.
In carrying out these actions at the abortion ‘clinics’ the intention is to help protect the lives of fellow human beings who are about to be killed. The activists non-violently place themselves between the intended victims and the abortionists who would kill them. We will not evade our responsibility and simply stand aside and let the innocent be killed.
Genuine help is available to mothers who find themselves in difficulty because they are pregnant. Resorting to killing the child is both wrong and unnecessary.
All who value human life and who recognise the present terrible injustice that is occurring should join us, if possible, in protecting life. We have no right to claim to be a civilised society while we allow this destruction to continue.
- No great cause ever achieved a triumph before it furnished a certain quota to the prison population.
To see the Christian community acting in ways that are fully consistent with traditionally professed beliefs in relation to abortion, regardless of the cost to ourselves.
To intervene, with whatever number of people who make themselves available, as often as possible, by means of non-violent direct action, to prevent any babies from being killed by abortion.
To have people involved in rescues in numbers that are sufficient to prevent any abortion ‘clinic’ anywhere in Queensland/Australia from being able to kill any babies on any day.
To arrive at a point where intervention to stop abortion will no longer be needed because the value of preborn human life will be fully recognized by all and appropriate assistance for pregnant women in difficulty will be readily available.