It took three, uncomfortably long minutes for Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke to pour 80,000 tiny ball bearings, each one representing the life of a child who won’t get to experience life outside the womb, into a cold, steel bucket.
“That’s one year. I’d be pouring for an hour to represent the children lost through abortion over the past two decades,” he told stunned guests at the gala fundraiser on Saturday night at Perth’s Novotel Langley Hotel.
The names of 80,000 children, the most popular of the past few years, rained down two video screens as the tiny steel balls made their deafening journey into the gold receptacle.
“We rightly spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on campaigns telling people to buckle up, slow down, swim between the flags, stop smoking, have a plan B, lose weight, slip slop and slap.
“But the life issue is our most unattended emergency.’’
More than 230 guests attended the second gala ball in support of Emily’s Voice, raising over $40,000 for Emily’s Voice life and love campaigns in the West, the next featuring Perth single mum Nikki and four-year-old daughter Nahla.
The next campaign starts mid-August on television, billboard and social media.
Guests at the Glorious Life dinner also heard from Della MacLeod-Jenkins who became pregnant as a result of rape as a teen and was sent to a Sydney home for unwed mothers to give birth before having her daughter forcibly removed for adoption.
“I left the hospital empty-handed and broken-hearted.’’
Della was reunited with her daughter, Maggie, 18 years later when the teenager wrote to a Sydney newspaper columnist asking for help to find her mother.
Mother, wife, abortion survivor and pregnancy support counsellor Karina Lewis laid her heart bare as she shared her journey of multiple abortions, grief and despair, and ultimate healing.
“Not only does your baby die during an abortion, but your soul dies,’’ she said.
“One of my favourite quotes is ‘Having an abortion doesn’t make you un-pregnant, it just makes you the mother of a dead baby.’ ’’
Karina told how she was bullied and coerced into having abortions until she was dead inside.
Karina, who has undergone extensive counselling for post-abortion trauma, has spent the past decade helping other women, most recently with Pregnancy Matters in Rockingham.
Sponsors of the glittering dinner included Country Heritage Feeds, Burgess Electrics, Steenhof Brothers Barristers and Solicitors, and the Australian Christians party.
Supporters unable to attend the dinner, or who would like to make a post-dinner donation in support of the next Western Australian campaign, can do so by clicking here.
To view and download photos from the night, follow the link (password: EV2017).