Walk for Life

On Saturday 23rd of September, around 600 people gathered to walk for the lives of the unborn at Hyde Park. The date was chosen to remember when abortion-to-birth was legalised in New South Wales, on the 26th September, 2019.

Hannah Phillips from South Australia ably led proceedings for the afternoon. The occasion started with the singing of Amazing Grace, followed by Evangelicals for Life’s President, Peter Barnes, citing ‘Choose life’ from Deuteronomy 30:19, which reminds us that the God of the Bible is the God of life. This was followed by a short prayer.

The vagaries of the airline system meant that our first speaker, Dr Jereth Kok, was not able to be present as his flight from Melbourne was cancelled. NSW MP Tania Mihailuk spoke of her isolation from her Labor colleagues over her opposition to the anti-life laws of 2019. In today’s moral climate, adopting a pro-life comes with sad costs.

Senator Ralph Babet spoke on our country’s anti-life laws, which label murder as healthcare. He is attempting to ensure that babies born alive after a botched abortion be treated with all possible care. A former nurse, Denise Cameron, recalled the horrors of witnessing an aborted baby born alive, and the baby’s death because of deliberate neglect by medical staff.

Finally, we were enabled to hear the heartbeat of a 38-week-old unborn child, due to the wonders of modern ultrasound equipment. The afternoon concluded with a walk around the bottom half of Hyde Park. It was a peaceful protest, yet a powerful reminder of the great sadness and injustice associated with the killing of the unborn. The haunting sounds of the Choir of the Holy Innocents, singing at about the halfway point, added to the seriousness of the walk.

It is probably worth recording that behind the scenes, significant roadblocks were encountered. Parramatta Park, operated by Western Sydney Parklands, was our first preference of location, but with only a few weeks’ notice, it banned us from peacefully protesting on the grounds that we were ‘political’ – even though it allowed a LGBTQI pride event in February, and a protest against the Adani mines in 2019.

The venue was therefore switched to Hyde Park, which was not without its trials. The police at both venues – Parramatta and Hyde Park – were more than cooperative, and to be commended. A World Freedom Rally tried to piggyback on our rally, the assumption being that their numbers would be bolstered by scheduling their protest in the same location, just two hours before ours. The Walk for Life is, and we trust will remain, a one-issue movement. Evangelicals for Life are especially grateful to Love Adelaide, who provided invaluable and generous support throughout the whole planning and execution of the day, with some of their members paying out of their own pockets to make the event happen. Overall, the running of the Walk for Life proved to be a demonstration of the Lord’s providence over the whole situation.

Many Christians, including pastors of churches, were unsure whether or not to attend the walk. If that is you, reader, do consider this: William Wilberforce did not simply speak against the slave trade. Esther from Scripture didn’t save God’s people from genocide simply by praying. She petitioned the King. The ending of abortion will surely come through a multitude of means – prayer, preaching, petitioning the government, and voting. Please join next year’s Walk for Life – details will be found in Love Sydney’s new website: https://www.lovesydney.org.au/.

“Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die” (Proverbs 31:8).

– Patrick Jason