Questioning so Queenslanders can make an INFORMED choice

On 10 May 2016 Independent MP for Cairns, Mr Rob Pyne introduced the Abortion Law Reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill into the Queensland Parliament. The bill proposes the removal of existing safeguards for women and the unborn child. Instead, it proposes abortion on demand for any reason until birth without any reference to gestational timeframes or informed consent. After examining all the evidence, the Queensland Parliament Health Committee recommended that this bill not be passed.

On 16 August 2016, Mr Pyne introduced a second bill - the Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment BillThis bill attempts to deceive the public by including a supposed restriction on abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, but this provision has no penalty and is so loose that it still allows abortions until birth. At the same time, it would criminalise peaceful protests outside abortion facilities. Together, these two bills are almost as bad as the Victorian decriminalisation law of 2008.

The second bill is currently undergoing evaluation by the Health Committee, which is due to report by 17 February. Both bills are expected to be voted on by Parliament by March 2017 or earlier.

At the present time, a woman in Queensland can access an abortion at one of 10 private clinics, under an interpretation by the court which allows abortion where there is a serious risk to the physical or mental health of a woman. While no doubt most of these abortions are actually unlawful, given they are being performed on healthy women as evidenced by their outpatient status, the law turns a “blind eye”. With more than 10,000 abortions occurring in Queensland each year (according to Medicare figures), it is disingenuous therefore for abortion advocates and Mr Pyne to suggest that women in Queensland cannot readily access abortion in the State.

The proposed bill to widen the grounds for legal abortion in Queensland is a backward step. It flies in the face of best medical practice that the Queensland Parliament would consider repealing the existing lawwhich allows for legal abortions where there is a medical reason.  Currently, in many nations around the world, significant moves are being taken to turn back abortion legislation. We see examples of this particularly as the time of viability when the child is capable of surviving outside the womb, becomes earlier and earlier. For example, in Utah this year the ‘foetal pain abortion law’ was passed which will now require doctors to provide anaesthesia to babies being aborted at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later.

In Australia, abortion affects one in three women. Sometimes abortion is put forward, even taken for granted, as a 'solution' to the most difficult situations. However, we cannot disregard the fact that this choice involves the taking of an innocent life. Compassionate care for women and the unborn child does not involve providing terminations up to the time of natural birth which is what these bills would allow.

 

Contact your state MP today and let him or her know that Queenslanders deserve better than abortion. With the Christmas break and the summer holidays almost upon us, it is vital to contact your MP now in order to assure an appointment with them before the bill is voted on. 

 

Take Action HERE - Contact Your MP


Galaxy surveyed Queenslanders on Abortion: download the results here.

 

The results of a comprehensive opinion poll conducted by leading independent market research firm Galaxy on 6-8 May 2016 for the Australian Family Association are as follows:.

This research shows that the majority of Queenslanders (53%) either want the law to stay as it is, or are in favour of making it stricter - with 39% of voters wanting it be less restrictive. Similarly, more Queensland voters (49%) say they do NOT want abortion decriminalised, while 43% are in favour of decriminalisation.

When the question was asked, Up to what stage of pregnancy would you allow abortion, 22% of Queensland voters said “not at all” and a further 50% said only up to 3 months – meaning that 72% of Queenslanders are opposed to abortion after 3 months.

85% are opposed to abortion after 20 weeks, with only 6% in favour. It is important to note that Rob Pyne’s extreme position is supported by only 6% of Queenslanders.

The research also showed that 45% of Queenslanders are opposed to abortion in cases where a healthy mother is carrying a healthy unborn baby, with 38% in favour.

We know that the vast majority, an estimated 97%, of abortions are performed for financial or social reasons, not for medical reasons. So even in the first three months, support for abortion is highly conditional.

These figures indicate a significant level of uneasiness with what decriminalisation would mean, even among those who say they support it.

This may be because 84% of Queenslanders believe that abortion can harm the physical and/or mental health of a woman.

There is clearly no consensus to change to the law, except that Queenslanders overwhelmingly want safeguards introduced to protect women.

94%, almost everyone, believes that a woman should receive free independent counselling and information so she can make a fully informed decision.

87% of Queensland voters want a cooling-off period of several days between making an appointment for the abortion and the actual operation.

And 75% want parental consent requirements for girls under 16.

This poll also shows that 79% of Queenslanders support conscientious objection provisions for doctors and nurses which would allow them to opt out of performing abortion operations against their will.

The last question in the poll may give pro-abortion MPs some reason to reconsider.

When asked “if your local member of parliament voted in favour of decriminalising abortion, would this influence the way you vote at the next state election?”, 47% of Queenslanders said it wouldn’t influence the way they vote.

However, 24% said they would be less likely to vote for their MP if he or she voted to decriminalise abortion, while 18% said they would be more likely to vote for their MP in that case.

This means that MPs who vote for decriminalisation of abortion will face an average potential swing of 6% against them at the next election. Abortion is not a vote winner.

 

Abortion Executive Summary

 

Thank you to the 300 plus people who attended the #abortionrethink rally!

Abortion Rethink Rally Qld Parliament House

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