Voice for Life has embarked on a campaign that will gently remind people of the huge number of lives lost to abortion.

The Booties Project, brainchild of VFL Nelson member Elaine Borger, aims to collect more than 12,000 baby booties to create a memorial for aborted babies at Parliament some time in June or July after the Abortion Supervisory Committee releases the 2017 abortion statistics.

“Placing pairs of booties as a visual public display seemed an appropriate way to represent those lives that have been taken, who would never get to grow and fill those booties,” Mrs Borger said.

VFL president Jacqui de Ruiter said the group is currently in the process of getting approval for the memorial.

“There’s been so much support of people who have actually felt like they are contributing to the pro-life cause by being able to knit,” said Mrs de Ruiter.

Mrs Borger said she got the idea while watching then-Labour leader Jacinda Ardern on television at a suicide prevention rally at Parliament.

Ms Ardern was moved to tears looking at 606 pairs of shoes that represented each life lost to suicide.

“She was quite emotional at seeing that. And then, I really thought how much more staggering the number of babies aborted is. So, I had this idea and I brought this idea to the National Voice for Life Conference held in September last year,” Mrs Borger said.

She got overwhelming support from those who were present at the conference. This encouraged her to put the plan into action.

Mrs Borger said that more than 1000 pairs of booties have been collected so far. Booties will be accepted up to June 1, 2018.

“The project has got three aims. We aim to have a memorial display for the number of babies aborted. We also want to show members of Parliament and the public how big a number that is, what scale it is of loss of lives,” she said.

“After the display of booties, we want to distribute those booties all over the country to maternity wards so that mothers with babies will receive a gift of a pair of booties for their new baby.”

In 2016, the number of abortions in New Zealand was 12,823.

“That number just stuck with me,” Mrs Borger said. “I want to try to match the number of abortions from last year with the number of booties.”

Mrs Borger sent out 3000 flyers to the different VFL branches in the country. These were posted in churches and church halls belonging to various denominations.

“I know that there are a lot of keen knitters in New Zealand, and many who are passionate about upholding the sanctity of life. Many people have been inspired to knit for the project, and to be part of a nationwide effort,” she said.

She has also sent out newsletters to those who are supporting the project, giving them updates as well as knitting patterns.

She said those who would like to help in this project can contact her through email at hborger@xtra.co.nz