March of the Babies is an event held by of pro-life activists, it was created in response to the passing of the Abortion Law Reform Act passed in 2008. The Reform Act states the following, “Under the Act, a woman is able to access abortion up to a gestational limit of 24 weeks. After that point a medical practitioner is able to provide an abortion if another practitioner agrees that an abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances.” The Reform Act protects birthgivers and their reproductive rights. The law extends the time for birth givers to acquire abortions up until the full gestation period.
The mission statement of the March for the Babies organization, is as follows, “March of the Babies started a year after the passing of the Reform Act in commemoration and remembrance for the life of every unborn child aborted under the Act. Participants come out every year, sometime around October 10th; the passing of the Reform Act, to march in solidarity with families and fellow activists. March of the Babies, as the organization, also assists with pre-natal support for birthgivers and medical professionals.”
On October 10th, 2013, pro-life participants set out once again to promote their agenda. That day, they were met by pro-choice activists who were equally as passionate about reproductive rights and there was a bit of a…qualm.
Pro-choice Australians have expressed their reservations with the former Health Ministers views of abortions. Former Health Minister, John Howard, open contempt for ‘the epidemic (i.e. abortions and the access to such), influenced government sanctioned policies that prohibited the use of state services related to abortions in developing countries. Built up animosity between activists set-up the atmosphere for the March for the Babies ‘riot’.
Before the March 10th, 2013 March for the Babies, counter-rallies were held (and continue to be held) to demand, “full reproductive freedoms for all women, but especially Indigenous women, women with disabilities and refugees. We’d also like to see free contraception, and more financial support for sole parents, so women can choose to keep their families.”