Several hundred abortion rights protesters mobilised against far-right Victorian state MP Bernie Finn’s March for the Babies on 8 October in Melbourne’s CBD.
March for the Babies website describes their aim as “legal abortion overturned in our lifetime”. Finn has held the march annually since 2009. It’s a day for some of Victoria’s most rabid right-wing Christians to gather with pink and blue balloons to lament the separation of church and state.
Earlier this year, Finn was expelled from the Liberal Party after saying that abortions should be banned even in cases of rape. His rally this year was again joined by the fascist group Proud Boys.
Liz Walsh from the Victorian Socialists chaired the counter-demonstration, denouncing Finn’s calls to outlaw abortion. “Bernie Finn and his ilk represent a right-wing minority in our society. The overwhelming majority in Victoria are pro-choice. We will never let these people win. We will defend abortion rights tooth and nail”, she said.
“We may have won our legal right to abortion in Victoria, but the fight for full reproductive rights is far from finished. So many women and pregnant people living outside Melbourne are forced to depend on private clinics, and their access hinges on whether they can afford the fees. Access to abortion should not be based on whether you have the money. That’s why we’re demanding free abortion on demand.”
Walsh is fighting to replace Bernie Finn in parliament, standing against him in the Western Metro region in the Victorian state election. “It’s time to kick misogynists like Bernie Finn out of parliament”, she said.