April 4th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: A way out of the economic tsunami?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Senator Steve Fielding's political challenge

COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT: Rudd Government's radical agenda by stealth

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Liberal Party faces moment of truth

QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION I: Labor's Anna Bligh returns to power

QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION II: Leading abortion campaigner defeated

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Can free trade theory survive the global slump?

ENVIRONMENT: Global cooling is here: Don Easterbrook

BIOETHICS: Plant liberation: Europe's next cause célèbre?

UNITED NATIONS: Voices for the unborn heard at UN session

OPINION: Granting scientists power to take innocent life

F.D. Roosevelt and Obama's strategies (letter)

Agriculture the best-performing sector (letter)

Increasing populations (letter)

CINEMA: Easy Virtue - Dark side of 'deliciously funny comedy'

BOOKS: SMACK EXPRESS: How Organised Crime Got Hooked on Drugs, by Clive Small and Tom Gilling

BOOKS: JOURNEY TO ETERNITY: Victim of Apartheid: a novel, by Eric Carman

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Leading abortion campaigner defeated

News Weekly, April 4, 2009
Two female pro-abortion Labor MPs suffered huge swings against them in the March 21 Queensland state election.

Of all the seats the Liberal National Party (LNP) won from Labor in the Queensland election, the second largest swing was recorded against Bonny Barry, a sitting MP who was planning to decriminalise abortion.

Bonny Barry (Aspley), the former Minister for Women's Affairs, suffered a huge 7.9 per cent swing against her. The incoming Minister for Women's Affairs, Karen Struthers (Algester), also suffered a huge 8.1 per cent swing, but is in a traditionally safe Labor seat. These figures were the tally as of March 25, when around 80 per cent of the vote has been counted.

These swings should be measured against a statewide swing against the Anna Bligh Labor Government of only 3.5 per cent.

In Barry's seat, a leaflet highlighting the traumatic and damaging effects of abortion on women was distributed. It emphasised the preference of almost all Australians that pregnant women should always be properly counselled about the serious risks they face if they have an abortion and that the number of abortions across the nation should be reduced. There was a more limited distribution in Struthers' seat.

Bonny Barry and Karen Struthers are two prominent Labor MPs and members of the radical pro-abortion group, Emily's List. Last October, they organised a seminar entitled "Abortion in Queensland" at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, with the intent of introducing a bill to decriminalise abortion in Queensland, modelled on recent atrocious Victorian legislation.

The Victorian legislation:

• decriminalises abortion;

• allows late-term abortions up to full term;

• makes no provision for women to be counselled as to the effects of abortion;

• compels doctors, who object in conscience to abortion, to violate their conscience by referring women wanting an abortion to a doctor who will arrange for them to have an abortion.

Queensland state president of the National Civic Council, Mr Ron Munn, said, "The draft abortion bill featured on Bonny Barry's website appalled local pastors and ministers of religion. Consequently, a coalition was formed and included the Australian Family Association, the National Civic Council and concerned local Christian pastors.

"The campaign helped to make the Christian population aware of the damaging abortion plans Ms Barry had for Queensland women. It roused the Christian vote in a way not previously seen. Several pro-life groups separately distributed different leaflets in the electorate."

The leaflet distributed by the pro-life coalition in Aspley, in part, said:

"... 87% of Australians believe we should reduce the number of abortions.

"98% think women should be advised of the health risks involved with abortions.

"Queensland women deserve real support with counselling and information on all the medical risks."

Bonny Barry's hysterical reaction to the campaign and her subsequent refusal to attend an Australian Christian Lobby's "meet the candidates" evening in Aspley, further angered many voters, according to Mr Munn.

With Labor still holding power by a large margin, it is not clear if the new government will move quickly to push through new abortion legislation, or drop the issue.

Mr Munn said that, whichever way it goes, the election results are a warning to politicians seeking to decriminalise abortion.

"The results show that a significant proportion of the voters are concerned about this issue and are prepared to change their vote to help protect women from this traumatic experience.

"Thirty years ago, few people would have encountered a woman hurt by abortion and were less aware of the consequences. But now, with about one million abortions performed every 12 years, the effects of abortion on women are widely understood and deeply felt across the community.

"Few people anymore believe the pro-abortion, feminist propaganda that abortion is no more painful than having a tooth extracted or tonsils removed. Almost everybody knows that abortion damages women, and occurs at the most vulnerable time of a woman's life, when she has become pregnant.

"Australians want more help for women facing unplanned pregnancies, not more abortions, which would be the outcome of the planned Queensland bill.

"This campaign has set the stage for more state and federal campaigns in the future.

"Pro-abortion politicians should now take note that many Australians are prepared to change their vote on this issue," Mr Munn said.

- News Weekly staff writer.

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