October 11th 2008

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Australia's debt party is well and truly over

EDITORIAL: US financial meltdown worsens ...

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Why Congress has been wary about Wall Street bailout

EDUCATION: Radical left-wing agenda in store for our schools

DEFENCE: ADF now stretched to the uttermost

ASIA-PACIFIC: China's power projection in Fiji

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Concerns over Chinese investment in WA mining

OPINION: Taiwan's olive-branch to Beijing

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: Small farms offer solution to world food shortages

BIOFUELS: Ethanol home-brew kit on sale

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: WA Nationals opt for partnership, not coalition

VICTORIA: Abortion bill cannot enforce gestational limits

ABORTION: Painfully taking the life of the most defenceless

OPINION: Scientism as the new fundamentalism

AS THE WORLD TURNS: British postage stamp honours Hitler admirer / Old and sick have a duty to die / Economics divorced from morality / The everyone-on-your-own society / Decline of male breadwinners

LETTERS: Evidence for global cooling disputed (letter)

BOOKS: ORIGINAL SIN: A Cultural History, by Alan Jacobs


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Painfully taking the life of the most defenceless

by Peter Kavanagh MP

News Weekly, October 11, 2008
Most victims of abortion are anonymous, but science and reason tell us that the unborn are already human, writes Peter Kavanagh MLC.

The Victorian Government's bill to decriminalise abortion is extremist legislation. It threatens a fundamental principle of our legal system and, indeed, our civilisation - that innocent human life is of such value that it may lawfully be taken only in the individual or collective defence of life.

Most victims of abortion are anonymous, but science and reason tell us that the unborn are already human. New imaging technologies graphically portray their obvious, undeniable humanity.

The "right" to kill?

The "right" to kill the unborn is often explicitly premised on the false assertion that the unborn person is a part of his or her mother's body. The foetus is, of course, dependent upon and fully enveloped by his or her mother's body. From conception however, the unborn person has his or her own complete, human DNA that has been formed from, but is also separate and different from, both parents.

Genetically, the unborn are no more parts of their mothers' bodies than they are parts of their fathers' bodies. The relatively mature unborn may also live though the mother dies and vice-versa, showing conclusively that they are not parts of one body.

The often-screamed claim that "the law cannot impose morality" is clearly refuted by the many laws that we properly have against a range of immoral actions such as rape and murder.

The ability to feel pain develops during gestation before the capacity to suppress it.

This means that abortion is often an unimaginably painful death. Victoria's lower house of parliament, the Legislative Assembly, even rejected amendments to the bill which would have required pain relief, where possible, in abortions.

Abortion severely harms women. Suicide rates are much higher for women following abortions, but these tragedies represent only the most profound cases of widespread emotional and psychological damage.

Other consequences include possible fertility problems and increased risks of breast cancer.

The bill requires many doctors to act against their consciences and send pregnant women who request it to abortionists. Outrageously, under the bill it is illegal for a doctor not to do so, even when it is his or her professional opinion that an abortion would harm the woman.

Our existing laws against abortion have not resulted in criminal prosecutions over recent decades, but they express the most important principle of all - that all human lives are valuable. This principle protects all of us.

We are witnessing escalating rates of senseless violence. If we abandon even "in principle" legal protection for the youngest and most vulnerable, what kind of justice dare we expect or even hope for? Indeed, what kind of justice would we deserve?

We rightly aspire to freedom, which necessarily means being able to do things of which some others may disapprove. The proper legal boundary of our freedoms is the point at which our actions hurt others. Our liberties and our rights properly end where harm to others begins.

Painfully taking the life of the youngest and most defenceless is surely the worst harm that we can do to other people.

- Peter Kavanagh is the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) state upper house MP for Western Victoria.

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