The conservative World Congress of Families promoted the controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lanfranchi as its star conference speaker on Saturday, after several politicians who were scheduled to appear pulled out. Lanfranchi is an anti-abortion advocate who continues to push the discredited idea of a link between abortion and breast cancer.
Lanfranchi was one of the biggest names organisers had left after the last-minute withdrawal of the anti-abortion campaigner and Victorian upper house Liberal member Bernie Finn, the federal social services minister, Kevin Andrews, and the Victorian attorney general, Robert Clark.
After a delayed start marred by protests that prevented some speakers from getting inside the venue, about 200 attendees were at the congress by the afternoon to hear from Lanfranchi and Fred Nile, leader of the New South Wales Christian Democrats.
NSW MP Fred Nile described the protesters as anti-God and anti-Christ, describing the largely peaceful scenes outside as a “brutal battle”.
“I believe there is a devil or an evil spiritual force behind those people out there today,” he said. “It’s not coming out of their minds. There’s a greater force behind that person. The devil is putting his will and his words into their mouths.”
Nile concluded by outlining what his ideal society would look like.
“[It would be] a society marked by faithful, lasting, lifelong marriages between a man and woman,” he said.
Says the man who’s been married more times than Britney Spears.