CHERISH Life Queensland’s new president is steeling for a tough battle advocating for politicians to reject the state’s proposed bill to legalise abortion.
Julie Borger took the reigns of the pro-life organisation last week, after the resignation of Teresa Martin, who has held both the presidency and executive director position for the past decade.
“’I’ve taken on a huge job,” Mrs Borger told The Catholic Leader about her new leading role in the pro-life community.
“It scares me. But this is my major focus, my major ministry – the most important thing I can be doing right now.
“Teresa (Martin) had spent ten absolutely strongly committed years, giving 110 per cent of her time.”
Cherish Life will soon advertise the director’s position, and a new management committee will oversee internal changes to the organisation that includes a Brisbane head office and 12 branches across the state.
But for now, Mrs Borger’s main focus is “fighting for the sanctity of human life”.
“If this bill in its present form is passed into law in Queensland, then a mother would have the right to terminate her pregnancy right up to the due date of delivery,” she said.
“She would not need a reason to make this decision; it would simply be her choice to not birth her baby.”
Mrs Borger will also be taking a strong stand against euthanasia, which she describes as “the new threat at Queensland’s door”.
“The very first request that came across my desk was an invitation to speak at a ‘politics in the pub’ event to debate the argument for and against euthanasia,” she said.
“In other Australian states the fight is on, with numerous attempts to legalise euthanasia. Make no mistake; the push for euthanasia in Queensland is on.
“We are battling for the right of the aged and infirmed to die a natural death having lived all the days that God has numbered them.”
Cherish Life Queensland – originally known as Queensland Right to Life – was founded 46 years ago before the emergence of similar organisations in other Australian states.
It relies on donations and is not a religious or political organisation, but Mrs Borger said a large percentage of the organisation’s support was drawn from people with Christian faith.
“If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you do believe in the Ten Commandments, then it does make sense to say that you do not believe that killing an innocent child in the womb is the thing to do,” she said.
“I am a daily Mass-goer and I draw my strength from the Lord and I sit before the Blessed Sacrament and I try to listen to God’s Spirit,” she said.
“I think that is part of what has led me to here; I would have to say that.”
Mrs Borger said Cherish Life’s broad mandate required the organisation to “work smarter and be more effective advocates for the pro-life cause”.
Cherish Life has branches across Queensland, and she believed this was one of the organisation’s grassroots strengths.
“If we are trying to change culture, we need to be everywhere,” Mrs Borger said.
“We would be most happy if people anywhere put up their hands and said we would like to start a Cherish Life branch. I would be out there in a flash to support them, help them get organised.
“That’s exactly how I got involved in 2009 when I rang the then president and said ‘What can we do in Redcliffe?’, and she suggested I start a branch there. So in turn I would love to help others do the same.
“St Pope John Paul II said that this work in the pro-life arena is the most important apostolate of our time. I believe this.”
Mrs Borger speaks about life’s challenges with the experience of working with couples separating and divorcing, and reaching agreement about parenting and property settlements.
“Women today are being sold such a lie. They are told that they can go ahead and have an abortion, it is really just a minor surgical procedure and then they can continue on as before. Often this is not so,” she said.
“We know that most relationships fall apart after the child they conceived is aborted.
“Unfortunately, a lot of mothers also fall apart.
“They fall into depression, and self-harming behaviours such as drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity and failed relationships. They are hurting and do not make good choices for themselves.
“The pain can last for years; it may be buried, but it is there.”
By Mark Bowling