Victoria now criminalising peaceful activities – anti-abortion protests

Police separate pro-choice and pro-life protesters. Photo: Eugene Hyland 

This is an infamously historic day for Victoria and you could be forgiven for not noticing that anything has changed at all. No church bells pealing, calling people to prayer, asking God for His mercy on our State.  However over 100 Helpers were there in prayer on Saturday after a beautiful Mass with seven Priests in Carlton. Some people processed in prayer to the modern-day Calvary and others stayed to pray in the church before the Blessed Sacrament. Thank you to those who have supported us in prayer from afar.
This morning Richard, Ken and Doris prayed on the edge of the 150 metre zone. Two activists from the Sex Party were there taking photos of the Helpers (they had been inside the zone for some time before approaching to take the photos). The police showed up and thanked the Helpers for adhering to the new law. He told them that the Melbourne City Council would shortly be marking lines where the 150 metre boundary would be. That’s a lot of line-marking! When Ken and Richard walked past the Fertility Control Clinic (FCC) praying the rosary on their way to the bank, a few of the FCC staff and the Sex Party activists, who were standing at the front gate, didn’t say a word to them. The Snr. Sergeant had earlier affirmed the Helpers’ rights to use the footpath. 
Richard showed the policeman the leaflet that some people had distributed in neighbouring letterboxes (1,800 of them) on Sunday 1st May. It details the number of unborn babies destroyed at the FCC since 1973 –  a shocking total which residents will now be aware of.
Following is our Press Release which we have sent to the media who have requested it. Don’t expect they will use it.
Please pray for the intercession of St. Mary of the Cross for the future endeavours of the Helpers.
Press Release regarding the anti-Helpers law,
ludicrously named ‘Safe Access Zone’ Law                       Saturday 30th April, 2016
This law prevents anyone from acting peacefully within the designated area. “It must be the first law of its kind in Victoria to criminalise peaceful activities”, Mrs Tanya O’Brien said. Nowhere in the world has an extreme exclusion zone of 150 metres been imposed. Buffer zones of lesser restrictions have been struck down by the courts in various states of the USA.
Helpers have been praying and offering help outside abortion centres around Victoria for the past 23 years. In particular, Helpers have been present on a daily basis outside the ‘Fertility Control Clinic’ in East Melbourne. During all these years, not one of the Helpers has ever been convicted of an offence. There are laws already to deal with accusations of harassment and intimidation. The Helpers presence is peaceful and therefore a new law has been construed which moves the goal posts, imposing draconian fines and possible jail term for merely being present or offering a pamphlet to those who wish to receive it.
We have been able to assist over 300 pregnant mothers to date. It is incumbent on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to show the government how it will make up for the shortfall in services to mothers that our absence will create when this exclusion zone is enforced.
The law is clearly unconstitutional. It will inevitably be challenged in the courts and it will inevitably be struck down. It is arrogant for the Victorian Parliament to join with the abortion industry in passing an unconstitutional law to deny pregnant women any knowledge of the type of assistance that is available to them from the Helpers.
This law, which comes into effect from Monday 2 May, will not prevent the Helpers from reaching out to those in need. It is our aim to expand our activities in the future.
Helpers of God’s Precious Infants
P.O Box 4075
Patterson 3204
Mrs Tanya O’Brien
0407 090 367

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