Prolife supporters deliver 13,285 pairs of booties to Parliament


Both sides of the abortion debate demonstrated on Parliament’s front lawn on Wednesday.

The Voice for Life prolife group laid out 13,285 pairs of baby booties on the lawn to represent the number of foetuses aborted in 2017.

There was tension and some scuffles when a prochoice demonstrator started picking up handfuls of booties and scattered them around.

People tried to restrain the person. Police were called but no arrests were made.

Voice for Life national president Jacqui de Ruiter said the group decided to create the graphic display following the release of the latest abortion figures to illustrate how many potential lives were lost through abortion.

DeRuiter said although they were outnumbered by the counter-protesters, the fact that thousands of people around the country had pitched in to knit the booties showed they had a lot of support.

“We are here to speak for the unborn, to show Parliament that we do not need more-liberal abortion laws.”

Abortion Rights Aotearoa national president Terry Bellamak, who organised a counter-protest on the other side of the lawn, said it was to show solidarity with those who wanted abortion care.

“This booties protest … is kind of about shaming and guilting people who have had abortions and we think that’s wrong.

“Making sure that women can choose abortion when it’s right for them and not having to feel demonised or somehow wrong.”

National MPs Simon O’Connor and Chris Penk were among those addressing the prolife group.

Labour and Green Party MPs – as well as Nikki Kaye and Amy Adams from the National Party – spoke to the crowd in support of the counter-protesters.

Adams said there was cross-party support for improving abortion law.


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