By Emilie Ng
GRAHAM Preston’s been arrested six times, but the prospect of spending another night in jail never stops him from raising his pro-life banner on Brisbane’s streets.
The 59-year-old has raised the issue of abortion in organising the annual peaceful pro-life Walk for Little Feet for the past 26 years.
More than 100 supporters from various Christian denominations joined Mr Preston on the nine-kilometre walk from an abortion clinic in Bowen Hills to Parliament House.
But at the end of this year’s walk, Mr Preston announced he was stepping down as the primary organiser as it was time others became “more involved” in leading the event.
“But I’m not walking away altogether,” Mr Preston said.
The unstoppable pro-life supporter believes a younger generation could attract bigger crowds.
“If this is going to make an impact there needs to be 2000 people doing the walk,” Mr Preston said.
“One hundred people is good but we can never say we have enough.
“One hundred people out of one million in Brisbane is a pretty sad turnout.
“People are turning a blind eye to abortion.
“We need to get out there on the streets and let people know that abortion is unacceptable.”
Mr Preston’s public protests have left him fighting laws that prohibit even his peaceful actions.
On June 17, he will appear in Tasmania’s High Court following an arrest outside a Hobart abortion clinic in April.
Tasmania’s abortion laws restrict any protests within a 150-metre “bubble zone”.
Mr Preston said he would continue speaking up against abortion until the laws changed.
With Mr Preston stepping down from organising the Walk for Little Feet, there is hope among a young generation of pro-life Catholics.
Nursing student Ella King is among the young generation of pro-life supporters ready to take up the mission left by Mr Preston.
“Graham’s dedication is inspiring, and as a young person, the future is in our hands,” Miss King said.
“A group of us, mainly young Catholics, plan to help more next year.”
The week of the walk, Miss King had visited a local pathology museum keeping preserved “specimens” of real disfigured and diseased babies, collected for medical purposes.
Miss King said the specimens, which ranged between fully formed to eight-week-old babies, reminded her of the thousands of unborn humans aborted because of their “abnormalities”.
“The tour guide pointed out a child that had died of heart disease and proudly explained that there are not many cases of children with heart disease now since we have ultrasounds that diagnose that sort of thing,” she said.
“The unspoken word being that those children don’t live to see the light as their lives are taken from them in utero.”
Miss King was shocked to find that many nursing students and lecturers referred to unborn babies as “foetuses”.
“Looking at the 12-week-old babies in the cabinet, you could see it was definitely a human being,” Miss King said.
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Photos: Michael Searle