There’s a showdown looming on Saturday 9 October. The anti-choice bigots from the Right to Life are mobilising with the goal of getting abortion back into the Victorian Crimes Act. Their “March for the Babies” will mark the second anniversary of Victorian law reform, which finally legalised abortion. It’s essential that the pro-choice majority out-organises this crew and takes to the streets in force.
The Melbourne abortion rights protest is also part of a National Day of Action in solidarity with a young woman and her partner from Cairns. The pair face charges — and possible jail terms — under Queensland’s 19th century criminal code for procuring an abortion. The trial date is set for October 12. These charges must be dropped. Women in Queensland also need access to free, safe, legal abortion on demand.
Radical Women initiated the Melbourne rally and invites all who agree with the demands to get involved. The Freedom Socialist Party was amongst the first to get on board. It’s particularly pleasing to see progressive trade unions embracing women’s reproductive rights by supporting the rally. The CFMEU and ETU have endorsed in Victoria. In Queensland, the ETU is joined by the ASU and NTEU. Support from campus groups has also been strong.
If the Cairns couple are found guilty this would be a serious blow to pro-choice forces, as it would set a dangerous precedent. The issue is too important to sit this one out!
What You Can Do
Come to the Melbourne rally: noon, Saturday 9 October, Parliament House. Bring a coathanger to symbolise that we refuse to return to the days of dangerous backyard abortions.
Volunteer to assist on the day: there’s a role that will suit you! Contact email@example.com or call 9388-0062
Come to the next rally organising meeting: 6:30 pm Thursday 30 September, Solidarity Salon.
Help defray costs: donate to Radical Women. Send cheques to PO Box 308, Brunswick Vic 3056.
Sign the Radical Women-initiated online petition: Drop the prosecution for procuring an abortion! Repeal Queensland’s anti-abortion laws! www.thepetitionsite.com/2/Stop-the-abortion-prosecution/
See the Pro Choice Action Collective website for a full list of endorsers and information about protests in other states: www.prochoiceactionqld.org