A BORDER anti-abortion group has defended the presence of children and babies at weekly protests outside Albury’s abortion clinic, saying the young people who take part in the prayer vigil understand “that’s where they kill the babies”.
About 10 school-aged children and an infant were among the the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants group yesterday as they prayed opposite the Englehardt Street clinic, their numbers greater than usual because of the school holidays.
Spokesman Phil Murphy said he was not concerned about exposing the children to the regular abuse directed at the group from passing cars.
“If things get out of hand I would take the children away (and) that hasn’t happened in Albury yet,” Mr Murphy said.
“The life of the child that dies in that clinic is worth standing out in the cold and copping abuse from passing drivers.”
One woman, 18, who regularly prays at the Thursday vigils, said the name-calling she had experienced was no worse than what she had already heard at school.
The Albury resident who wanted to be known only as Tess, said her group’s motivations were grossly misunderstood by many in the community.
She said as a young woman, her presence at the clinic showed those who felt like they had no choice to have an abortion they were not without support to see out their pregnancy.
“We’re saying that there is another choice. You can do this if you want but you don’t have to,” she said.
Mr Murphy said his children prayed at the clinic of their own free will and were not being traumatised.
“They’re not happy about it, but they’re not distressed by it,” Mr Murphy said.
“I’m not dragging them down there.
“It’s the kids that want to do it. They feel like there are not enough people standing up for the rights of these unborn babies.”
The Lavington resident, who offers counselling and pro-life pamphlets to patients of the clinic, rejected suggestions the children were there to make women feel guilty about having an abortion.
“It’s school holidays. What are you going to do? Leave the kids by themselves?” Mr Murphy said.