May 16th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Impending collapse of Australian agriculture

EDITORIAL: Implications of the budget black hole

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Kevin Rudd backs down on climate change

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: IMF's global outlook: expect the worst

MANAGED INVESTMENT SCHEMES: Behind the collapse of Timbercorp

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Re-inventing the wheel of international trade

CHINA: China sees US as dying Roman empire

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Taiwan's WHO entry breakthrough

UNITED NATIONS: UN anti-racism conference blames Israel

ARTIFICIAL REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY: Does family matter? Ask the kids…

POPULATION: One-child policy for Australia, says green group

ABORTION LAWS: Further threats from pro-abortion fanatics

RUSSIA: Russia faces catastrophic population decline

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Ageing population adds to financial crisis / Turn back the clock / Obama axes school voucher program

CINEMA: Shielding one's eyes from the truth - 'Good'

BOOKS: HEAVEN AND EARTH - Global Warming: the Missing Science, by Ian Plimer

BOOKS: WORLD WAR II: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Stalin, the Nazis and the West, by Laurence Rees

BOOKS: WAR AND MEDICINE, by Thuyavan with John Whitehall

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Further threats from pro-abortion fanatics

by David Perrin

News Weekly, May 16, 2009
Prime targets of pro-abortion ideologues are sidewalk counsellors outside abortion clinics who seek to dissuade women from going ahead with an abortion. David Perrin reports.

Killing of the unborn has recently been decriminalised in Victoria, following the example of the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia.

It is expected that in the future other states may follow this trend, with perhaps Queensland being the next state to follow the decriminalisation path.

This trend has since been compounded by the Rudd Government's approval of the use of overseas aid money to fund the killing of the unborn.

These changes have been driven by pro-abortion ideologues of both genders on both sides of politics who subscribe to the radical feminist agenda.

This ideology has found its way into mainstream society over a long period of time, so much so that it pervades our politics, the law, police, judiciary, media, religion and the teaching profession.

Emily's List

All major political parties in Australia have professed pro-abortion members, such as the Emily's List women MPs in the Labor Party. The Greens have gone so far as to enshrine abortion rights as part of their official party platform.

The radical abortion laws passed in Victoria last year now mean that, for the first time in Australia, health professionals are denied the right to exercise a conscientious objection against the killing of the unborn. The law stipulates that, if they refuse to perform an abortion, they are obliged to refer women to another health professional who is prepared to perform one.

This ideological and coercive approach to medicine will mean that pro-life doctors and nurses, if they are to avoid prosecution for refusing to be complicit in the taking of innocent life, will have to find some other medical speciality that will not be a legal minefield for them.

This dilemma was recently debated in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Attacks on pro-life health professionals are likely to come from two sources.

One is from insurance firms which may deny pro-life doctors access to professional indemnity insurance on the commercial grounds that a doctor's refusal to refer a woman for abortion will increase the likelihood of future legal action.

Another is from medical practice boards, which will be legally obliged to investigate any complaint from an aborting mother against any doctor who refuses to refer her for an abortion.

This has happened twice in Victoria before last year's decriminalisation bill was passed.

The new legislation also puts at risk counsellors who are trying to help women to keep their babies and will not refer them for abortions.

There have already been attempts to bar agencies that do not refer for abortion from being able to offer pregnancy support for women considering abortion.

Such agencies, even though they are not funded by government, may be legally obliged under Victoria's laws to refer women for abortion or be forced to close.

Prime targets of pro-abortion ideologues are the sidewalk counsellors outside abortion clinics who seek to dissuade women from going ahead with an abortion and who offer them material support to help them continue with their pregnancy.

Abortion-providers, for their part, complain that, as a result, abortion appointments are not kept. They are aware that some women, on seeing the sidewalk counsellors, simply keep on walking without going into the clinic.

In Victoria, these counsellors have already been under attack even before the passage of last year's abortion laws.

At an East Melbourne abortion clinic, abortionists have been successful in persuading police and municipal officials to paint on the footpath in front of the clinic a line which counsellors are forbidden to cross.

This painted line has no legal standing but the intention is clear.

Pro-abortion ideologues would be happy to extend this "bubble zone" to stop the sidewalk counsellors from being anywhere near women going into the clinic to kill their babies.

Such ideologues, not satisfied with all they have achieved to date, are doubtless looking for some pretext to ban sidewalk counsellors and pregnancy support agencies and further undermine pro-life health professionals. Once they have done this, the number of abortions is bound to increase.

Those who support the sanctity of human life and want sidewalk counsellors to be able to continue operating outside abortion clinics must ensure that no incidents occur in the vicinity of abortion clinics that could result in counsellors being stripped of what few freedoms they still have.

Roundly condemned

Pro-abortion ideologues have made much of the murder by shooting in July 2001 of a security guard inside the East Melbourne abortion clinic, even though this crime has been roundly condemned by all Victorian pro-life groups.

However, there is a risk that even non-violent confrontations in the vicinity of abortion clinics could provoke the enactment of further laws restricting the freedoms of sidewalk counsellors.

- David Perrin is the national president of the Australian Family Association and a former Victorian MP.

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