In Defence of Life
Words by Michael Brohier
Originally featured in On Dit issue 88.3
‘Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women’. These words of Alice Paul define much of the mission of LifeChoice Adelaide. Abortion is all too often discussed as a compassionate choice, as a matter of human rights or healthcare, whereas in reality it is profoundly anti-women.
Women deserve to understand the impacts of abortion, and to be supported in every way as they make choices regarding their pregnancy. Women deserve to know the truth, the truth that at 6 weeks, an unborn baby has a heartbeat. At 12 weeks the baby’s organs, nerves and muscles are functioning. At 24 weeks, the baby can feel pain and is viable outside the womb.
LifeChoice Adelaide provides this information to empower people in making informed decisions so that women truly have choice. The issue of abortion deserves sensitive discussion that empowers women, not the dispassionate ideological slogans that are all too common in this space. LifeChoice Adelaide seeks to sensitively engage individuals on matters of life, with material designed to facilitate discussions. We are committed to spreading life-affirming messages, recognising that all life is precious, regardless of age, gender or ability.
We are a rapidly growing grassroots movement of university students from diverse backgrounds who are enthusiastic about spreading life-affirming messages on issues including abortion, euthanasia and mental health on campus. As the new year begins, we have an exciting line-up of events based around our key objectives.
1) To promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, through reasonable and informed discussion on the issues of abortion and euthanasia in Australian society.
South Australia is at a critical point in determining its legislative future on the issue of abortion. As debate ensues over the coming year, LifeChoice Adelaide will continue to facilitate discussion on issues including gestational limits and sex-selective abortion. Unfortunately, LifeChoice Adelaide has already experienced how abusive slogans and ideological soundbites are preferred over reasonable and informed discussion, with groups and individuals on campus attempting to silence our views during events in 2019. However, we are confident as we continue to present scientifically supported information in an educated and respectful manner, we can achieve meaningful conversations on this divisive issue.
2) To present opportunities for students to engage in academic research and writing on bioethical issues.
Much of the aggression and anger in the abortion debate can be avoided when there is reasonable and informed discussion. Yet such conversations are difficult without knowledge of the scientific and ethical issues at play. Therefore, LifeChoice Adelaide is committed to providing opportunities where students can investigate this issue and present their findings. We are excited to be launching our first writing competition in 2020 where students will have the opportunity to present research papers on the issue of abortion and euthanasia. LifeChoice Adelaide hopes that as individuals and as a university community, we can lay aside the vitriol surrounding the abortion debate and discuss this issue in an informed and civil manner.
3) To provide support to pregnant students and staff at the university.
LifeChoice Adelaide recognises that abortion is an incredibly sensitive issue and understands the life-changing implications that are associated with bringing a new life into the world, particularly when unexpected. We understand the complexities of the decisions around abortion and believe that no woman should feel alone. In a bizarre and aggressive article printed in this magazine in 2019, there were insinuations that our club would be shouting our opinions and threatening women’s reproductive rights.
We simply, yet unequivocally state that we believe in human rights; the rights of both women and children. These rights should exist in harmony. We believe that no women should ever be forced to choose between her life or her baby’s life.
All too often pregnant students feel driven to abortion out of desperation. Too many women feel they have no other choice because their university or employer will not offer them more flexible arrangements. This is a deeply ingrained and fatal error within our society and we are determined to fight for the rights of pregnant and parenting students. The abortion industry does not care about the rights of these women and does not provide them with real choices. It is the pro-life movement that provides the expecting mother with the support she needs so she doesn’t have to choose between her child and her future.
LifeChoice Adelaide is committed to what is a foundational concept for any successful society — upholding the dignity of human life from conception until natural death. We are excited for all that lies ahead in 2020 and look forward to meeting and discussing these issues with all of you over the coming year.