October 31st 2009

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY / EDITORIAL: Australia's asylum-seeker policy unravels

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The toughest job in Australian politics

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: How the human rights consultation was hijacked

TAX INQUIRY: Treasury push to get more mothers into paid work

CLIMATE CHANGE: Temperature readings in rural Australia show no increase in 100 years

ENERGY: New gas resources explode "peak oil" alarmism

NATIONAL SECURITY: How much longer can Australia's luck hold?

CHINA: How the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wields absolute power in China

ECONOMICS: The taming of unbridled free market capitalism

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Women not warned about abortion breast-cancer risk

VICTORIA: Protesting on behalf of the unborn

OBITUARY: Last surviving leader of 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising dies: Marek Edelman (1919-2009)

CINEMA: "Deeply troubling" rags-to-riches story: Mao's Last Dancer (rated PG)

BOOK REVIEW: BEERSHEBA: A Journey Through Australia's Forgotten War, by Paul Daley

BOOK REVIEW: REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN EUROPE: Immigration, Islam and the West, by Christopher Caldwell

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Protesting on behalf of the unborn

by Peter Kavanagh MP

News Weekly, October 31, 2009
Thousands of pro-life Victorians attended a "March for the Babies" rally in Melbourne on Saturday, October 10, to protest against their state's radical abortion laws passed a year ago. Eight political and religious leaders addressed the crowd from the steps of Victoria's Parliament House.
Peter Kavanagh, MLC, speaking at
the March for the Babies rally
in Melbourne on October 10.

One of the speakers was Peter Kavanagh MLC, the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) state upper house MP for Western Victoria. Here is an abridged version of his speech.

We are here today to commemorate the first anniversary of the most extremist pro-abortion legislation that has ever been passed in a Western democracy.

Under this Victorian legislation, not only was protection for the unborn eliminated, but doctors nurses and other medical professionals who know that the unborn victims of abortions are human beings, are forced to facilitate abortion and even, in some circumstances, to perform abortions. It is no surprise then that a leading academic has labelled this legislation "fascist".

But the debate over this legislation was even worse than that.

One year ago today I proposed several amendments to the Abortion Bill 2008. The first was to require, as in Arkansas for example, that the foetus about to be aborted be given pain relief. It has been shown beyond doubt that many unborn suffer excruciating pain during an abortion to an extent that is beyond our comprehension. A majority of members of Victoria's Legislative Council voted against it.

Under existing law, abortionists are already required to make a report when a girl is obviously the victim of child abuse. This is clearly the case with an underage girl who is pregnant. I proposed and argued for an amendment to clarify and strengthen reporting requirements in this situation. A majority of members of the Legislative Council voted against it.

Sometimes babies who are aborted survive the abortion and are born alive. The two formal investigations of such situations that have been done in Australia show that the abortionists do exactly what you would expect - they simply leave such babies to die. One of my proposed amendments would have required the abortionists to give medical assistance to such babies. A majority of members of the Legislative Council voted against abortionists being required to assist babies who are born alive after "failed" abortions.

I also proposed an amendment to prohibit partial-birth abortion in Victoria - the turning of a baby around within the womb and dragging her feet first almost to the point of birth with only her head still in the birth canal (this is done because if her head came first she might be born too quickly to kill her before she is fully born) and then gruesomely killing her while her head is still in the birth canal. A majority of members of the Legislative Council voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Considering such irrational lengths to which many will go in their support of abortion, it is easy to become disheartened.

There are however, good reasons to be optimistic. For example, more Americans now say they are pro-life than at any time since surveys have been taken. We all know of course that as America goes, we in Australia usually follow.

But there is a more fundamental reason for being confident that we will eventually win, or, rather, that the unborn will win and that ultimately, one day be granted justice under law and treated with respect. The reason we can be sure of that is that our cause, which is also their cause, supports and is supported by the truth.

The truth is that the unborn baby is enveloped by and dependent on, but not a part of, another body. The unborn baby is just like all of us here. We got our DNA from our mothers and our fathers. But our DNA is different and separate from the DNA of both our mother and our father. The DNA that characterises and demonstrates the humanity of the unborn baby belongs to the baby and to nobody else.

The truth is that the destruction of another innocent, non-threatening human life is never a legitimate choice for any person.

The truth is that there is no inherent contradiction between the interests of a mother and her unborn child - it is in the interest of both of them that the woman is able to give birth to a healthy son or daughter.

The truth is that our decisions and our options properly stop and are properly stopped for us by the law, the government and our society at the point where harm to another person begins - and who could deny that taking the life of an unborn baby in an excruciatingly painful way before he or she can see the light of day is doing the most harm that we could do to anybody?

The truth is that the primary object of any legal system is and should be the protection of all innocent people.

The truth is that although the unborn baby is immature, undeveloped and dependent, these are not reasons to take away his or her right to life. To the contrary - the truth is that his or her very vulnerability demands extra protection.

The truth is that effective protection for everybody requires attempting to protect everybody and that taking away protection for some, weakens protection for everybody.

In the media and in Parliament we recently debated the senseless bashings going on in the city. The debate was largely about things such as how many police we should have and what time clubs should close. My response was to think, "No, what we should do is to protect every human life because that is how you get respect for everybody else too." Protection for all people is weakened when protection for some people is eliminated.

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