The Queensland Government’s Termination of Pregnancy Bill would legalise abortion from 22 weeks until birth (because there is no upper limit). The Bill would legalise abortion under expanded criteria including "current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances", with the approval of two doctors.

These loose rules do not require the second doctor to see the patient or even look at her file. If a second opinion is not sought, there is no legal penalty. In any case, it would not be difficult to find two doctors who hold the view that a woman's autonomy is paramount right through pregnancy, which the Attorney-General has said is the underlying principle of this Bill.

The grounds for doing a late-term abortion - "physical, psychological and social" - cover every reason, and this together with the loose rules mean that it is true to say that Bill effectively would allow unrestricted abortion to beyond 22 weeks.

The Queensland Bill is modelled on the Victorian decriminalisation law, which has resulted in a 40% increase in late-term abortions in Victoria over the 8 years since the law was changed in 2008, compared with the 9 years beforehand. Furthermore, almost half of late-term abortions in Victoria over recent years have been for "psycho-social" reasons, whereas the current Queensland law does not allow abortions for this reason.

The 22 week “limit” in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill would be just as ineffective as Victoria’s 24 week gestational “limit”, because of the loose criteria and poor governance around the second doctor approval process. Basically this is an abortion-to-birth Bill.

As for those who claim that no abortions would be done up to birth, in 2011 in Victoria, a healthy baby of a healthy mother was aborted for “psycho-social” reasons at over 37 weeks gestation – this is regarded as a full-term baby.

In that same year, 10 healthy viable babies of healthy mothers between 28 and 31 weeks gestation also were aborted for “psycho-social” reasons in Victoria.

The average annual number of late-term abortions done for psycho-social reasons in Victoria post-decriminalisation over the 8 years from 2009 to 2016 was 32% higher than the 9 years beforehand, and the total average annual number of late-term abortions rose by 40% post-decriminalisation.

YouGov Galaxy polling commissioned by Cherish Life Queensland and the Australian Family Association in August 2018 shows that 76% of Queenslanders, including 81% of women, oppose abortion after the point of viability at 23 weeks of pregnancy , with only 6% of voters (and 3% of women) in favour.

When asked whether they supported the specific late-term abortion provision in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill, 62% of Queenslanders said No (including 70% of women), with just 22% of voters (including 18% of women) in favour.

 

GESTATIONAL AGES OF LATE-TERM ABORTED HEALTHY BABIES TO HEALTHY MOTHERS

Gestational ranges of perinatal deaths (VICTORIA)  from 2009-2015 for maternal

psycho-social indications only - non-medical reasons, healthy babies to healthy mothers

Year

20-27 weeks 

28-31 weeks 

32-36 weeks 

37+ weeks 

2015    

107

0

0

0

2014

146

0

1

0

2013

179

0

0

0

2012

132

0

0

0

2011

172

10

0

1

2010

184

7

0

0

2009

203

11

0

0

From Victorian Maternal, Perinatal, Child and Adolescent Mortality statistics, The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity

Please note that none of these babies were anesthetised, as this was one of the amendments voted down when the Victorian Abortion Reform Act was passed in 2008.

WE MUST STOP THIIS HAPPENING HERE IN QUEENSLAND.

FOOTNOTES