CHRISTIAN LIVING | Anne Lim
Eternity #67 March 2016
Touching stories of people who found the courage and strength to go ahead with unplanned pregnancies are told in a new campaign by pro-life lobby group Emily’s Voice.
The billboard advertising campaign in Perth is the group’s first metropolitan campaign and is backed up by TV commercials broadcast in prime time across Western Australia.
The first commercial and billboard feature West Australian woman Claire, who unexpectedly fell pregnant at 16.
Emily’s Voice was set up in 2008 with the aim of helping Australia to fall in love with the unborn child and encouraging those dealing with surprise pregnancies.
“We want to re-create that special moment when you find out you’re pregnant,” said WA advocacy specialist, Michelle Pearse.
“When it’s a surprise pregnancy, the preciousness of life is often lost and we want Australians, especially those in that situation, to realise every life is precious.”
Emily’s Voice last week released survey results that show a majority of West Australian residents are opposed to late-term abortions (post 20 weeks) as well as those performed for career, social and financial reasons or where the unborn child has a mild disability.
The group commissioned the Galaxy Research survey of 500 residents in Perth and Bunbury which was conducted in February.
While general support for abortion was 61 per cent in Perth, and 47 per cent in Bunbury, support for abortion fell dramatically when respondents were asked about specific reasons.
The poll revealed that severe disability of the unborn child is the only circumstance in which most West Australians support abortion.
These results are in keeping with earlier findings in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania.
“The benchmark surveys now totalling 1600 respondents consistently show most Australians are opposed to most abortions,” said Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke.
Ms Pearse said the surprise was that the figures did not tally with the fact that abortion is legal in WA for any reason up to 20 weeks.
The new campaign directs people to the website notbornyet.com, which provides information on pregnancy assistance services.
Ms Pearse said Emily’s Voice always conducted surveys before and after a campaign to track changes in community attitudes.
“The ones who change their minds on abortion, or become less supportive of abortion, are the youngest age group, between 16 and 24, and that gives me hope to think it’s the next generation who are rethinking this,” she said.