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Social media a gift to next pro-life generation

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The Life Choice Campion Team with the Hon Susan Carter and Dr Joanna Howe. Photo: Christine Vella/Campion College
The Life Choice Campion Team with the Hon Susan Carter and Dr Joanna Howe. Photo: Christine Vella/Campion College

By Christine Vella

Social media has enabled pro-life activists to reach new audiences directly and find their voices, young attendees were told at “Life on the Line,” a pro-life conference held at Campion College on 13 October.

The event, organised by the Life Choice Campion team and Life Choice Australia, brought together close to 100 attendees, all keenly interested in pro-life matters.

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Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide and pro-life advocate Dr Joanna Howe delivered the first keynote of the night, unveiling shocking statistics and anecdotes about abortion laws and practices in Australia.

She emphasised the critical need for education on these matters, citing an Instagram poll asking her followers whether they were aware that not all Australian babies born alive following an abortion procedure have a legal right to care. Only 26 per cent responded Yes.

Following difficulties in sharing her findings in secular media and scientific journals over the years, Dr Howe has found social media to be an equaliser when it comes to sharing pro-life messages.

“I started to see that we could reach people directly and the tides could turn,” she said.

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, and I think it’s because I finally found my voice to speak out on abortion.”

Dr Howe hopes her online example will help raise up a generation of young people able to talk freely about pro-life issues, both online and in person.

“What I’m hoping is that by doing this, it will be so much easier for young people to do so,” she said.

“I want people to feel comfortable in high school to talk about this issue, and to know that there’s female role models out there who are also doing it. And you’re not some anti-feminist if you’re against abortion.”

Acknowledging the challenges in bringing pro-life issues to the fore, Dr Howe urged everyone to write to their senators regarding the Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2022, sign petitions and join the mailing lists of pro-life organisations.

While petitions may not change the mind of politicians, Dr Howe has received the advice that they are more likely to start listening when you have thousands of people on your database.

Moving from start-of-life discussions to end-of-life concerns, the Hon Susan Carter MLC, began the second keynote by asserting that a lot of the thinking behind euthanasia is driven by the experience of a loss of control.

She offered compelling responses on why a natural end to life is essential and need not necessarily be motivated by religious teaching.

“Each and every life deserves respect, and care, and love at every stage of that life. You don’t have to be a Christian to subscribe to this idea,” she affirmed.

In a galvanising moment, Mrs Carter rallied the room, stating, “I’m sitting in a room of revolutionaries. Everybody here wants change.”

“They want change for good. They want change for respect. They want change for dignity. They want change for equality. “

She urged everyone present to “commit to being a changemaker” and to embark on a journey of discernment to discover one’s unique role in the pro-life movement.

Following the keynote presentations, the speakers were joined by Jennifer Gurry (Diamond Women), Paul Hanrahan (Family Life International), and Michael Fewster (Right to Life Australia) for a Q&A panel discussion.

The event raised over $2500, which will be donated to Australian pro-life organisations.

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