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Prayers to end abortion reserved to homes as 40 Days for Life Brisbane suspended during pandemic

Final vigil: A group of pro-life activists with 40 Days for Life holding their final vigil 200m outside an abortion clinic in Brisbane, where they have been praying for an end to abortion during Lent. Photo: 40 Days for Life Brisbane.

PRO-LIFE activists will pray for an end to abortion in their homes and not near a Brisbane abortion clinic after global campaign 40 Days for Life was cancelled amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

40 Days for Life Brisbane president Brendan Wong told participants in an email on March 23 that all physical vigils on Abbotsford Rd, Bowen Hills, roughly 200m from the Dr Marie Stopes abortion clinic, were cancelled following advice from the group’s American administrators.

Mr Wong said he and his wife and four children had been praying in the campaign weekly “as an opportunity to pray as a family”.

“We will continue with our prayer at home in compliance with government regulations and the wishes of the 40 Days for Life team,” Mr Wong said.

Mr Wong said although vigils were cancelled on Abbotsford Rd, which normally run non-stop throughout Lent, he encouraged people to forge ahead with prayer and fasting for an end to abortion.

“Through my position as president of 40 Days, I’m very keen to make sure that people keep abortion as an ongoing issue that society needs to address,” Mr Wong said.

“I certainly am not going to stop praying.”

The vigil’s cancellation have also coincided with the Australian federal government’s suspension on non-essential gatherings inside and outside the home, including religious gatherings and places of worship.

However the federal government has not specifically called out the performance of terminations as non-essential in their list of restrictions.

Mr Wong said “even in the best of circumstances” abortion was “a non-essential part of society”.

“Doctors and nurses could be helping people impacted by coronavirus, instead they’re undertaking really questionable activities,” Mr Wong said.

He said the serious health implications of the pandemic could be an opportunity for doctors and nurses to reconsider using their profession “to save life and not destroy it”.

Mr Wong said he encouraged members of 40 Days for Life to pray for the lives of those impacted or killed by coronavirus, and in particular to pray for a cure or vaccine against the illness.

The 40 Days for Life Brisbane campaign is normally held outside the legislated “safe-zones” which prohibits any form of protesting within 150m of an abortion clinic in Queensland.

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