New Zealand pro-life advocates made a powerful statement Wednesday outside Parliament with a display of more than 13,000 baby booties, each representing a baby who was aborted in 2017.
Voice for Life created the display in response to a government proposal that would recognize abortion as a “health issue,” Newshub reports.
“We’re doing this to show the public and Parliament that we are really concerned about the lives lost and that there must be a better way,” said Jacqui de Ruiter, national president of Voice for Life.
On Wednesday, pro-life leaders and volunteers placed 13,285 pairs of baby booties on the lawn outside Parliament. Each pair represents an unborn baby who was aborted in 2017 in New Zealand.
The pro-life group said people across the country knitted the booties for the display; to date, they have received more than 15,000. When they take down the display, they said they plan to donate the booties to moms in need.
“We’d like to see support, true and informed consent for women because we know so many women suffer terribly after abortion,” she told the New Zealand Herald.
More than 500,000 unborn babies have been legally aborted in New Zealand in the past four decades.
Abortion has been legal in New Zealand since 1977, but the 1961 Crimes Act still lists it as a crime. Abortion activists are urging government leaders to change the act and declare abortion a “health issue.”
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The Crimes Act prohibits abortions after 20 weeks, except to save the woman’s life or prevent serious, permanent physical or mental injury. If the government acts on the pro-abortion legislation, it could expand laws to allow abortions for basically any reason up to birth.
“There must be a better way forward for both mothers and babies, and we want to be part of finding that better way,” Voices for Life said in a statement.
Abortion activists held a counter protest Wednesday outside Parliament.