On 30 January the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern relating to a highly contagious virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The virus triggered pneumonia which frequently resulted in death. On 12 March WHO characterised Coronavirus (now commonly called COVID-19) as a pandemic.
Globally by 21 April, according to WHO, there were over 177,000 deaths. According to the Australian Government Department of Health there were 6,645 cases of COVID-19 in Australia. The Government of Western Australia reported that there were 546 confirmed cases in WA with seven deaths.
On 29 March Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to contain the spread of the virus, limited public gatherings to a maximum of two people. Everyone was asked to stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education.
Weeks before Prime Minister Morrison’s announcement, the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life had already made a tentative decision to postpone the 2020 Rally for Life. The board members felt that:
1. numbers would have been substantially lower based upon would-be-attendees legitimate concerns about contracting the virus;
2. attendees coming from dozens of different churches across Perth, as well as some country churches, could spread the virus across churches in WA;
3. elderly people whom we hold dear and who faithfully attend the rally each year could be exposed to COVID-19 resulting in elevated risk of sickness or even death;
4. the media, while generally ignoring our rallies, could cover the rally on this occasion to accuse us of acting irresponsibly.
The Prime Minister’s directive limiting non-essential outdoor gatherings clinched matters for us.
While we felt deeply saddened that we would not be able to stage the rally for the first time in 22 years, we were encouraged to think that we could still unite in prayer to Almighty God. We suggested that, with time that would otherwise have been spent travelling to and joining in the rally, individuals and families could dedicate themselves to prayer on the evening of Tuesday, 26 May, which marked the 22nd anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in WA.
That date has passed by, but the reasons for prayer still remain. May we take this opportunity to encourage you to pray that our Heavenly Father will:
1. bring an end to state-sanctioned abortion in WA;
2. awaken the Church to the need to stand publicly against the killing of the unborn by abortion;
3. raise up more Christians to offer loving and compassionate help to women contemplating abortion, and forgiveness to those who have procured them;
4. raise up more valiant Members of Parliament who will contend for the rights of the unborn;
5. convict Christians to vote wisely for candidates who are determined to do everything in their power to reverse WA’s unjust abortion laws;
6. prevent legislation being enacted that would prohibit prayerful gatherings and peaceful protests at abortion facilities;
7. miraculously stop WA’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Act from being implemented.
May 26th 2020, sadly marked the deaths of 180,000 children by abortion in Western Australia with state sanction. Even though we were unable to gather together at Parliament House to mourn the loss of these precious children and call on our Members of Parliament to action, we will continue to pray that God will bring this slaughter to an end, knowing that he hears and answers faithful and persistent prayers.