Prochoice Call to Action

Prochoice Call to Action – Melbourne

HoGPI_27:30am Tuesday 10th February
Parliament Car Park Entrance
Macarthur Street, East Melbourne

The Parliament of Victoria sits for the first time in 2015 on Tuesday. Welcoming MPs as they arrive at the Parliament car park will be the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants (HOGPI). In recent years they have erected a banner along Macarthur Street. One year they added a cross for every abortion performed in Victoria throughout the year, and the next year they added a breast cancer awareness ribbon (claiming a link between abortion and breast cancer) for every abortion performed in Victoria.HOGPI 2013They will be back in 2015, supported by St Patrick’s Cathedral, Youth for Life and Rachel Carling-Jenkins MLC of the Democratic Labour Party. Carling-Jenkins has entered parliament promising to wind back the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, beginning with Section 8.

Victorians must take this opportunity to remind MPs that the majority of Victorians are prochoice and support the current laws.

Bring placards, banners, invite family and friends, make your voices heard and let the HOGPI know that we are #NEVERGOINGBACK


How to get there:
Exit Parliament Station at Macarthur Street exit and walk 100 metres north-east.
Catch the 11, 12 or 109 Tram to Parliament Station, Macarthur Street and walk 90 metres north-east.

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Look Who’s Back

Look who’s back with an old lie to mislead the people of Victoria.

HOGPI 2013

Helper’s of God’s Precious Infants (HOGPI) have returned with a new banner more galling than before. Last year they greeted MPs arriving at the car park entrance to Parliament House with a banner marked with crosses to represent the number of abortions alleged to have occurred in Victoria in 2012. This year their banner displays Pink Ribbons, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness, and reads:

HOGPI Breast Cancer

HOGPI are also handing out a leaflet that reads:
Who is the single most important person protecting this woman from breast cancer?

…. her baby

Long before birth, her baby’s chemical signals began the process of breast growth and maturation that make breastfeeding possible. And it is only through a full-term pregnancy and lactation that a woman acquires her greatest protection against breast cancer.
Abortion prevents this, increasing a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
www.bcpinstitute.org

The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute is an anti-choice (prolife) organisation started by well known proponents of discredited theories regarding abortion, the pill and their contributions to breast cancer.

Extensive and repeated studies have concluded time and time again that abortion does not cause or contribute to breast cancer.  This consensus is supported by major medical bodies including the World Health Organisation and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

It is indication of how desperate the anti-choice movement is that they keep pushing discredited theories as serious science. Their desperation is evident with every pink ribbon displayed on their banner. Every pink ribbon on that banner is an insult to the women and their families who have battled breast cancer.

Victorian woman deserve the truth and the truth is that HOGPI and others in the religious right are seeking to deny women choice through the misrepresentation of science.

Join with the Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights in sharing that truth and the battle to ensure that woman have access to safe and legal abortion.

40 Days for Life Clinic Defence

The next 40 Days for Life Campaign runs from Wednesday 13th February to Sunday 24th March. For the duration of Lent anti-choicers will intimidate women at the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne and Dr Marie – Marie Stopes International in Croydon. This is despite accepting a “Statement of Peace“.

Campaign Director Fons Janssen states in an email dated January 11, 2013 that he has incorporated the ideals of 40 Days for Life in a new flyer:

father as protector
To Fons a pregnant woman needs the protection of the father of her unborn child. As though a woman is incapable of making the right choice for her.

It clearly demonstrates the sexist patriarchal outlook of the anti-choicers. They don’t trust women.

Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights does trust women and defends their right to reproductive choice. To demonstrate that trust Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights will defend the clinic on the first morning on the 40 Days for Life. Join us.

40 Days for Life Clinic Defence

13th February 2013
7:30am – 9:00am
Fertility Control Clinic
118 Wellington Parade East Melbourne

On this first morning of the the 40 Days for Life we will make it clear that a woman’s access to legal abortion is here to stay and that we are NEVER GOING BACK.

#OurClinic #NeverGoingBack

The Bullies and Cowards No Show

On the last Parliamentary sitting day for 2012 only prochoice messages were seen by Victorian MPs.

Like the true bullies and cowards they are Helper’s of God’s Precious Infants (HOGPI) did not show up at Parliament this morning. This is despite pledging to be in attendance on each of the 70 sitting days of Victoria’s parliament this year.

Dozens of cars, cyclists and even a few trams sounded their support for a woman’s right to reproductive choices demonstrating that Victorians in their majority support choice.  As they drove into the Parliamentary car park, Victorian MPs saw women and men standing together supporting choice.
dec 13 aVictoria Police had expected HOGPI to show up, providing half a dozen officers to keep an eye on proceedings. When it was clear they weren’t turning up with their banner the police departed and left us to continue our peaceful action.

The failure of HOGPI to show up (again) demonstrates how prochoice action is making a difference in Victoria. Their Rosary Parade has failed to turn up at the Fertility Control Clinic since October.  As the bullies they are, when confronted, they hide away like cowards.  Our presence keeps them from intimidating women accessing services at the clinic and gives a voice to the prochoice majority outside Parliament.

dec 13 bOur success requires your ongoing support.
We have two more clinic defences before Christmas.
Fertility Control Clinic
118 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne

9:30am
Saturday, 15 December
Saturday, 22 December
Join us and keep those who seek to intimidate and harass women away from the clinic entrance.

Make your Stand for Choice

On each Parliamentary sitting day (bar one) Helpers of God’s Precious Infants has protested at the entrance to the Victoria’s Parliament House car park as part of a concerted campaign to recriminalise abortion. They’ve displayed a banner marked with crosses, representing the number of abortions alleged to have occurred in Victoria in 2012. They claim that by the end of the year, the banner will extend the length of the street.hogpi_21

We plan to peacefully stand shoulder to shoulder on Macarthur Street to demonstrate that despite all their efforts, safe and legal abortion is here to stay.

Join Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights (CWRR) on 13th December 2012 – the last sitting day of Parliament for 2012 – for a Counter Protest.

Make your Stand for Choicehonk-if-ur-pro-choice
Thursday 13th December 2012 – 7:30am-9:30am
Macarthur Street, East Melbourne

Hold our “HONK IF UR PRO-CHOICE” signs – hold your own sign – or simply make your stand for choice.

With each honk of a car horn our presence we will remind MPs that the vast majority of Victorians believe in a woman’s right to choose – and we’re Never Going Back!

Our Clinic, Our Bodies, Our Choice! Mass clinic defence keeps away harassers

On November 24, more than 250 pro-choicers rallied outside the Fertility Control Clinic to defend it from the “Helpers of God’s Precious Infants” (HOGPI), who stage a monthly “Rosary Parade” of up to 80 anti-choice zealots. Melbourne Feminist Action organised the mass defence. A handful of “Youth 4 Life” stood across the street holding yellow balloons, but the HOGPI decided not to show up!

Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights has defended the clinic for more than seven years. Debbie Brennan spoke for CWRR about why the clinic must be defended and full reproductive justice fought for:

“Congratulations to Melbourne Feminist Action — its first action!!

Savita Halappanavar’s death in Ireland is a tragic reminder of why we are here today. We’re here to say Never Again! Not in Victoria, not in Australia, not in Ireland, not anywhere!

Today is a buildup from years of fighting for abortion rights and defending this clinic. The Fertility Control Clinic has endured daily harassment since the day it opened its doors 40 years ago. These fanatics are the minions of far-right and religious forces on a mission — which is to domesticate women to be mothers and housewives.

Victoria’s legalisation of abortion four years ago was historic! It took decades of dogged organising by activists against a tiny but powerful far right. We now have to defend that victory from the same powerful forces that are hell-bent on overturning the reform. This anti-abortion minority is part of an ultra-right global movement, and with horror we’ve watched it at work in the United States. There, the movement is using everything it can to overturn 40 years of legal abortion — from referendum ballots and impossible regulations on clinics to bombings and assassinations.

Here, women’s legal right to abortion is violated over and over again — not just outside clinics, but in other ways that aren’t so visible. Religious hospitals refuse to treat or refer women who seek a termination. The far right holds annual protests against the 2008 abortion reform, bussing in people from everywhere. It keeps up the pressure on parliamentarians to recriminalise abortion. Local councils and police claim they have no power to stop harassers from stalking, taking photos, standing at the windows of clinic counseling rooms, and generally bullying people. But they don’t hesitate to threaten clinic defenders with infringement fines and assault charges. The harassment of this clinic is getting so intense that Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights is now defending not every month but every week. If we could, we’d defend it every day. The goal of the anti-abortion movement is to shut down women’s access to safe abortion. Its goal is to deny women any reproductive freedom.

Choice is about every woman making her own decision about having children; it’s about her control over her own body and her life. Abortion is not the only right to choose that’s under attack. Women with disability are sterilised, as young as 11 years old. Aboriginal women and women who are poor have had their children removed by the state. Mothers on welfare just had their parenting payment cut by as much as $100 a week. Working mothers can’t get childcare. Paid parental leave is nothing more than a welfare payment. Public housing is being sold off to private operators. Private rents and mortgage payments are going through the roof. Domestic violence keeps forcing women and their children from their homes. Sexual assault, homphobia and transphobia within the family forces young women, queers and trans people onto the street and into poverty and hard futures. The public health system is at breaking point. Public education and training is being gutted. Community and public sector services are being decimated. Sex education and freely available contraception are still demands we have to fight for. So are decent, secure jobs, equal pay and a livable income for all. As long as a woman is forced into dependency on a man or welfare, as long as society fails to provide for her and her children’s needs, as long as sexist, racist and anti-disability discrimination strips her of the right to be a mother, then she does not have choices. There’s a word for this: Misogyny!

In the far right’s world, living people are nothing; the foetus is everything. It’s about fertility control, like the clinic’s name says — but under whose control? Not the woman. For the far right movement and the powers that be, women must live by the rules of the state and the church, according to the profit system’s needs. Her place is in the home, breeding workers and looking after them — at no cost to profit, but at every cost to us. And when she has to work to get some money, she’s cheap labor.

This is why this clinic needs defending! Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights is defending every Saturday up until Christmas. We are also organising a counteraction against the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants on the last sitting day of Parliament for this year — December 13. Please take a leaflet with all the information. And join us!

If we’re going to win reproductive justice for women, we’re going to have to build a movement. We’re going to have to organise and make it very loud and very clear that women are not incubators. We are not mothers on demand. We are not unpaid nursemaids or domestic slaves. We are nobody’s property! What we are is angry and, when we organise, we’re formidable. It will take a grassroots, feminist movement to protect this clinic and win what women need to have real choices. We cannot look to state authorities and parliament to step in and do it. They won’t rock the capitalist boat. We will, because we have to. The court ruling in 1969 that gave women a limited legal way to get an abortion would not have happened without a movement. Along with Bertram and Jo Wainer, we won this clinic! We won the legalisation of abortion in 2008. We have to defend these wins and fight for more. And today gives us a glimpse of what we’re capable of!

Here’s a chant that’s a clinic defenders’ favourite: Not the Church! Not the State! Women will decide their fate!

See you next Saturday!”