QUEENSLAND by Julie BorgerNews Weekly
Pro-life Brisbane marches as abortion vote nears
, February 11, 2017
The unicameral Queensland Parliament is expected to vote shortly on bills that would effectively introduce abortion on demand in the Sunshine State.
Currently, abortion is illegal under the Queensland Criminal Code, but the law has not been enforced since a District Court judgement many years ago found that, under the law, abortion could be performed in cases where there is a serious danger to the physical or mental health of a woman.
Part of the crowd at the 2016
Brisbane March for Life.
The aim of the bills moved by Independent Cairns MP Rob Pyne is to amend the Queensland Criminal Code to legalise abortion up to 24 weeks, and then to allow selective abortions after that time – effectively, legalising abortion up to birth, and preventing pro-life activists coming within 50 metres of an abortion facility.
This would achieve the long-held objectives of the abortion lobby, in which it has been backed by powerful sections of the media.
By having the legislation moved by a former Labor now Independent MP, Rob Pyne, and permitting a conscience vote, the Labor State Government is trying to facilitate passage of the law without the negative consequences of officially endorsing it.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is a supporter of legalisation, and the bills would not have been given time in Parliament without Government support.
Pro-life association Cherish Life said the proposed legislation was nothing short of deceptive and sneaky.
Australian Family Association vice- president Angela Duff echoed that view. She told the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into the bill that the bill was a scandalous con job on the public.
She highlighted the bill’s unenforceable 24-week limit, which lets late-term abortionists do their worst.
“This is an attempted con job on the public. A law without consequences is no law at all. Besides which, there is no medical reason to perform abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, as there is never a situation in which a viable unborn baby needs to be killed to save the mother’s life.
“At the same time, the bill would establish so-called protected areas near abortion facilities in order to criminalise peaceful protesters who are praying, and footpath counsellors who are standing by to help vulnerable women who may request assistance or an alternative.”
She said it was scandalous that the bill “states specifically that the killing of viable babies would not be an offence, yet peaceful protest would be”.
In its submission to the inquiry, Cherish Life said: “Denying or downplaying the real and well-documented psychological and physical risks induced abortion poses to women’s reproductive health may better suit the ideology that believes abortion is a liberating, consequence-free procedure, but it is a lie that harms women.
“Like the tobacco-lung cancer link that was also denied in the presence of evidence, the psychological and physical risks such as the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link may continue to be denied, for what appears to be ideological, political and economic reasons.”
Cherish Life pointed out that if women have the right to choose, they should have the right to make a fully informed choice.
“Consent should be based on medical evidence of the known physical risks, and the substantial evidence into the psychological harms, of induced abortion. Deception is coercion, not liberation. Failing to ensure that women are fully informed represents a failure of our duty of care, making legislators culpable for the trauma, injury, and suffering women will endure.”
Cherish Life recommended that legislation ensure women receive reliable information containing the truth about human development, the methods of abortion, the physical and psychological risks of the procedure, and the alternatives.
It also called for mandatory access to neutral pre and post-abortive counselling, and mandatory waiting periods to ensure they have time to consider their options and make decisions free from pressure and coercion.
At the time of writing, tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition to the Queensland Parliament, calling on MPs to defeat the legislation.
Additionally, thousands were expected to walk in the March for Life in Brisbane on February 11.
The Government has promised that the parliamentary debate on legalisation will take place after the Queensland Parliament’s Health Committee report on the second Pyne bill is tabled.
The report is due to be tabled in Parliament by February 17.