Couple Given Bail But Choose To Stay In Jail
A Queensland couple arrested for protesting outside a Brisbane abortion clinic have refused to accept bail because the conditions attached to their release compromise their beliefs.
James 'Jim' Joseph Dowling, 63, and Anne Veronica Rampa, 58, were charged with prohibited conduct in a safe access zone after they were arrested outside Greenslopes Day Surgery.
The pair has been staging an annual three-day vigil for about 20 years outside the clinic but this year they've fallen foul of Queensland's new exclusion-zone laws that ban protesting within 150 metres of abortion clinics.
Dowling, a carer of disabled people, was arrested on Boxing Day and has been in police custody since.
His wife, Rampa, an art therapist, was initially moved along by Queensland Police but was arrested on Friday morning after she returned to the Logan Road clinic with a placard saying 'support mothers, not abortion'.
Both have now appeared in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court where bail was granted with the condition they don't return to the clinic.
The couple's son, Franz Dowling, 21, says his devoutly Catholic parents were expressing their spiritual belief that all life has immeasurable value.
"They're fighting against our culture, which is increasingly putting a value on human life and deciding when that life begins and its worth," he told AAP.
Franz says his parents plan to accept bail at 5pm on Friday, the time the vigil was originally scheduled to end.
"The bail conditions say 'you can be released but you can't go back' and they say, 'well, we will go back, so we can't sign this' because they value the truth and they aren't going to lie," he said.
They want to finish the vigil and their three days of fasting, which started on Christmas night, Franz said.
"They knew what they were getting into but it's always a bit of a worry, I've had a few sleepless nights," he said.
The pair will reappear in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court on January 23.
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