New group joins abortion protest

Volunteers from the 40 Days for Life group pray outside the abortion clinic. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
Volunteers from the 40 Days for Life group pray outside the abortion clinic. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

ANOTHER pro-life group has started a daily vigil outside the Albury abortion clinic and its organisers say they will be there throughout the Christian event of Lent.

The vigil is called 40 Days for Life and co-ordinators Ronan Reilly, 22, and Miriam Kirley, 28, say up to 80 Border believers will pray from 5pm to 6pm outside the Englehardt Street clinic until Lent ends on April 17.

The campaign began 10 years ago outside an abortion clinic in the US and Ms Kirley, of Albury, said it would be only the second time the Border has held an event.

Mr Reilly, who ran them in Sydney before he moved to Albury a year ago, said the local campaign came from a combination of his move, volunteers and the recent debate on whether the regular protesters should be moved-on.

“Obviously, it does coincide with the petition and what’s happened so far with the council. Everything just fell into place,” he said.

The vigils are being held when the clinic is closed, unlike the weekly Thursday protests.

Mr Reilly said the timing had much to do with attracting volunteers.

“The 5pm to 6pm was the best time for workers and families who have children with school commitments,” he said.

Ms Kirley said the vigil was about prayer and not confrontation.

“It’s peaceful and it’s quiet. It’s not demonstration and it’s not confrontation,” she said.

They chose to hold it on the nature strip outside the clinic because they were praying for the “innocent lives”.

Ms Kirley has nine siblings and her mother was adopted.

She said her pro-life campaigning had began when she was a child.

She said this as she stood a short distance from the three others who were quietly saying prayers — the rosary and stations of the cross.

A car roared past with its windows down, a young man stuck his middle finger up at the group and hurled an insult.

“Personally, it doesn’t affect me,” Ms Kirley said of the vocal passers-by.

“People are allowed to scream at us — that’s their right — but we don’t retaliate.”