By Michelle Ryan
This week the Sydney University Catholic Society is having Life Week on campus, and I had the privilege to attend their first event on Monday. The topic was “Is Abortion the Solution”, and analysed the different issues surrounding abortion for both women and the medical staff involved. Their event was kicked off with Professor Gerald B. Fogarty sharing his thoughts on the topic. Dr Fogarty is the Director of Radiation Oncology at the St Vincent’s Clinic and St Vincent’s General Hospital and also staff member at the Mater Hospital. Some of the students in the audience were studying nursing or medicine, and they asked Dr Fogarty questions in reference to his work with Solidarity, a non-profit volunteer association that aims to promote and protect the right of healthcare workers to exercise conscientious objection. Mrs Linda Smyth, their second panellist, runs Sara’s Place (http://sarasplace.org.au/about/) a centre in Surry Hills that provides specialists care, support and consultation around unplanned or problem pregnancies. Mrs Smyth gave insights into the impact of abortion on women, and the ways in which friends and family can provide support.
In a statement at the beginning of the meeting, a spokesperson for the Sydney Uni Catholic Society said that they had invited different organisations and groups to nominate panellist(s) who were supportive of abortion, however the Society allegedly received no such nominations from those groups.
While the speakers inside the marquee addressed the topic with their expertise and experience, outside a group of students protested with slogans and placards. Although they were invited to be part of the discussion, they chose to stay outside and chant their slogans.
The next event during Life Week is on Thursday 18th May: How Will Redefining Marriage Affect You?
Michelle Ryan works with the young adults of the Christian Democratic Party as the Young CDP Convenor for NSW. Email: [email protected]