TWO thousand people gathered at Queens Gardens, equipped with placards emblazoned “Choose Life” and “Love them Both”, and cut a protest column through Brisbane’s streets to March for Life on Saturday, October 12.
It marked almost a year since the Queensland Government had passed its radical abortion laws; protesters had not forgotten this “betrayal”, taking their outrage to Speaker’s Corner.
Dr Donna Purcell, a Toowoomba Catholic general practitioner and Cherish Life Queensland president, said they were fighting against a “death system”.
Dr Purcell, a mother-of-five and grandmother-of-eight, said a petition was being circulated which encouraged palliative care instead of euthanasia.
She said many signed it even before the march began.
Dr Purcell spoke to the protesters about the impending government inquiry into euthanasia, especially on the corruption of the medical system, the use of euphemisms to “disguise exactly what’s being done”, and the concern that euthanasia would replace palliative care.
“It’s a big concern for the medical profession and the health system,” she said.
“It’s just a basic tenet of our society that we don’t kill people.
“If (people are) suffering, we try to look after them the best we can.”
Her concerns about the Government replacing palliative care with euthanasia were founded on simple economics.
“There’s no incentive for the Government to provide it because in the end killing is cheaper,” Dr Purcell said.
This was especially true in places where palliative care – and any specialist treatment – was difficult to access.
At the time of writing, Victoria is the only state with active euthanasia laws, but Western Australia is debating the laws in the Upper House.
Other states are expected to follow unless resistance was shown.
Also speaking at the event was Christy Johnston, who was representing the pro-life film Unplanned, which has sparked controversy wherever it has been screened.
The protests were scheduled one week before the anniversary of Queensland’s abortion laws being passed. The laws allow abortion on demand up to 22 weeks and up to birth with the approval of two doctors.
Inter-state support came from New South Wales, where similar abortion laws were passed in late September. Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher described the passing of the laws as a “very dark day”.
“Since the abolition of capital punishment in New South Wales in 1955, this is the only deliberate killing ever legalised in our state,” he said after the law was passed less than a month ago.
One of the dissenting voices in the NSW abortion debates, Tanya Davies MP, who forced the government to add amendments to the bill or risk losing her to the cross-bench, also spoke at the rally on Saturday.
Dr Purcell said there was always hope to reverse Queensland’s abortion legislation.
She said at the heart of it was finding an alternative government and voting for people with pro-life views.
“It’s like everything – if you don’t try, you don’t get anywhere,” she said.