Last Wednesday — on the Feast of St Joseph — a friend reported on a pro-life prayer vigil she joined outside the East Melbourne abortion clinic on Wellington Parade.

I’m reproducing it here, because it gives an interesting and non-threatening perspective on the protesters’ actions and motives.

40 Days for Life praying outside the abortion mill. Two of us, Peter P, already clocking up 1 1/2 hours, then we’re joined by Trudi. Very strongly inspired to pray unceasingly, no chatting whatsoever, do not retort or respond to taunts and do not stop praying for one minute.

First a young woman looking like a MarchinMarch icon, going past several times yelling “You make me sick”.. then gleefully reappearing with a bongo drum. She sits down on the entrance planter opposite us and starts rapping loudly about “choice .. f..’in this and f…’in that. Abortion’s good, etc.” We keep praying steadily; the Glorious Mysteries in honour of Glorious St Joseph.

After a minute her voice starts to go croaky, she screeches, voice wobbles, then she takes off in a hurry. We keep praying.

Two police arrive, go into the clinic. We keep praying.

Ten minutes later another policewoman arrives, follows first policeman and woman. They come out and stand in front of us. We are praying the Stations of the Cross. We finish the station and they apologise for interrupting us. Inform us there has been a complaint by a pregnant woman claiming to be upset by us, abused by us.

No, I say, we have been praying only – not speaking one word to anyone. But a young woman was shrieking and drumming about abortion earlier… maybe pregnant woman upset by her? They ask our names. I say, not doing anything wrong, right to be here, blah blah blah (For crying out loud – babies being slaughtered and they interrogate pray-ers!!!)

Policewomen and man depart.

We continue praying. No, no, no chat. You stop and chat, you have dropped your weapons and God goes. He is there when two or three gathered together in His Name – not when they’re chatting…

Along comes a female who stands right up to us, cool as a cucumber, cursing, lying, swearing, profanities, the usual. We keep praying, eyes down. After 10 seconds she goes. The demons cannot stand prayer, you see.

Respond to these people and they love it. You stop praying, God goes, you are defenceless and they have won.

One hour of penance, but it’s prayer and Glorious St Joseph, whom we have invoked and dedicated this hour to, which has put up a strong shield around us and sends the demons packing.

Meanwhile, MercatorNet has posted a great article on how a crisis pregnancy is dealt with in Downton Abbey, and how things have changed since then, and how they have stayed the same.

I watched the first series of Downton Abbey (and enjoyed it immensely), so I know enough about the characters for this to interest me. Still, you don’t need to know the series the appreciate the video here.

On the other hand, if you do know the series, and you wish to avoid spoilers, don’t watch the video, and don’t follow the link: Downton Abbey and abortion rights.