My experience at the pro-life prayer vigil outside Parliament

Dressed in black to mourn the million innocent lives lost in legal abortions since 1997, pro-life supporters prayed outside Parliament yesterday.

[notice]Mieneke van der Merwe joined a group of pro-life supporters who gathered in Central Cape Town yesterday to mark the National Day of Repentance — the 15th anniversary of abortion on demand legislation in South Africa.[/notice]

On February 1, 1997, against the will of most South Africans, abortion on demand was legalised. SA became one of the most dangerous countries in the world for children in the womb as the new law allowed women to unconditionally  demand abortion up to 13 weeks of pregnancy. And up to 20 weeks (four months) it allowed a woman to get an abortion if she believed having a baby would harm her socially or economically.

No “right to life” for unborn

The “right to life” clause in the SA Constitution protects murderers from execution but it offers no comfort to unborn babies. The pro-life view is that life begins at conception.  At three weeks after conception the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Six weeks after conception, the baby has its own life-long brain wave. The absence of a brain wave is considered a sign of death, but somehow the presence of this brain wave is not accepted in SA law as a confirmation of life.

“It’s been fifteen years since parliament made abortions legal in our country. Fifteen years of legal murder. Lord, how can we remain silent when those with no voice are brutally killed on a daily basis?”

That was the cry from the group of about 70 people who took a stand for life outside Parliament yesterday afternoon. Many were wearing black and some carried flowers and white crosses. Mourning innocent blood spilt. A funeral van was parked at the entrance to Parliament, along with a 6m x 3m mobile banner with the words ‘abortion kills babies’. There were also small coffins with flowers alongside horrifying images of aborted babies.

I asked Taryn Hodgson of Africa Christian Action what the main purpose of the event was. “To proclaim truth. Abortion is murder and we want to highlight the reality of the abortion holocaust. We also want to humbly come before God in repentance.”

I noticed an older man with serious and compassionate face with an ‘Abortion kills babies’ sign. I found out his name was Les Watson and his reason for attending the vigil was: “To make the public aware that a child in the womb is a human being and the killing of a child is murder. Abortion is just a nice word. A child is a unique individual in the womb and the mother doesn’t have any right to end life.”

Children were a "piercing" presence at the vigil.

Abraham Warren of Christians for Truth(CTF) approached me and told me about their 24hr abortion counselling service. He said five out of six woman who underwent abortions had not received the vital counsel necessary to make an informed choice. He said that help was available at 072 673 9234.

Various pastors and other speakers went to the microphone to pray and ask for forgiveness. I noticed some young children and a baby among the crowd who were not sure what was going on but their presence brought a piercing reality.
ACDP representatives addressed the crowd with MP Cheryllyn Dudley, promising them that ‘the ACDP will continue to bring this issue to the attention of parliament at every opportunity possible. Fellow MP Steve Swart echoed: “As you’re standing out here, were fighting inside. We will continue to fight the issue. We need your support and prayers.”

Charlene Thomson: "I regret my abortion"

I spotted a woman holding a sign “I regret having an abortion”. I presumed it was Charlene Thomson, who was the first speaker of the day but whose testimony I had missed. I asked her if she’d be willing for a quick chat. We sat in the heat of midday on Parliament’s wall and she began to speak about her life; how she came to Cape Town as an innocent teenager; how she escaped human trafficking and how the city gradually devoured her. I noticed her gentle eyes. A woman who knows how to build her home in grace.

Ache didn’t go away
Charlene said that at the age of 23 she aborted her child after those close to her advised her that it was the best option. She said that for months afterwards she would see young babies everywhere and be horrified; the guilt overwhelming. She married and had two children. But the ache didn’t go away; it got worse as she realised what she had done. Alcohol became her anaesthetic. Suicide seemed like an escape. And then it became beautiful. She was giving a talk on herbs one day when a woman she’d never met came up to her and asked if she wanted to be released from all the hurt she was carrying. A radical transformation was birthed. She allowed God to mend her, forgive her and love her. She tells of how she knew that God hated her sin, but that His “love is so much more powerful” .
She was bubbling as she shared of her new life; how she is free, forgiven, loved and able to love. And how she loves her Saviour Jesus; how she can’t get enough of our Lord. An interview became worship!

I asked her what she would say to pregnant women who were considering an abortion. “A child is a blessing. Don’t let anyone tell you that they’ll be a hassle, an expense. God brings children to us to show what true life is, what joy looks like. Rather give that a chance than sitting with the regret of committing murder. You can’t reverse an abortion. There’s always adoption or asking someone else to take care of the child. But with abortion the scar remains forever.”

A solemn, symbolic funeral procession makes its way to Parliament, commemorating the lives of a million babies that were lost as a result of legal abortions in SA in the past 15 years.

More pictures of the day can be seen here

One Comment

  1. Brilliant; well done Gateway News for letting the world out there know that South Africans of all colours are standing up in the name of Jesus Christ. God bless you all from Piperjames War Piper 4 Jesus Christ and the Mighty Men of South Africa.