The committee report in to the second Pyne Bill, the Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016, has revealed that they are unable to agree on whether this bill should be passed by parliament or not.
This leaves both Bills unable to be recommended for passing by the parliament after the first Pyne Bill, Abortion Law Reform (Woman's Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016, received a unanimous recommendation from the committee report that it not be passed.
That the committee is hung on the second bill, it demonstrates that they have not taken in to consideration the unprecedented 1270+ submissions of which 83% were against the bill.
The bill is also in conflict with the Australian constitution.
Looking at the parliamentary committee submission of Professor Nicholas Aroney, he states “On the current approach of the High Court, there is little doubt that s 24(2)(c) of the Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill, if enacted, would effectively burden the constitutionally-protected freedom.” (https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/HCDSDFVPC/2016/18-HealthAbortion/submissions/1020.pdf p2-3)
Cherish Life has received independent legal advice from a constitutional law expert that the euphemistically named “protected area” provisions are in conflict with the Australian constitution. Even family members trying to dissuade someone from proceeding with an abortion would be at risk of arrest and prosecution. They would be criminalised by this bill.
In the Statement Of Reservations in the report appendix, three LNP MPs (Mark McArdle, Mark Robinson and Sid Cramp) have flagged the uncertainty in the final outcome of the bills when voted on in parliament. They state “Though Bills that become Acts of Parliament may end before a Court for interpretation a Parliament should not pass legislation that it knows may or will raise questions of interpretation. The role of the Parliament is therefore to strive is [sic] to pass cogent legislation that is drafted in clear and unambiguous language and not inconsistent with other legislation.”
The MPs conclude “The point is - has the legislation covering this very sensitive and emotional question been drafted in a manner that should be before a Parliament and is the process in which we are about to engage correct? We have a responsibility to pass clear and unambiguous legislation. We do not believe we are at that stage.”
Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said “It is clear that neither of these bills are in a fit state to be passed by the parliament. They are extreme. They are a mess. They should either be withdrawn or voted down immediately.”
In addition to the submissions against the second Pyne Bill, there were also 31,735 signatures on the official parliamentary petition against the bill. This brought the total signatures against the two bills to 55,604.
On Saturday 11 February 2017 a crowd of almost 4,000 from the March for Life marched on parliament and filled the entire Speakers Corner precinct, protesting against the Pyne Bills. (see supplied pic attached)
The high level of public outcry over this bill also reflects the results of gold standard independent market research by Galaxy that drills down to the attitudes of the community (not the mere testing of a political slogan). Queenslanders are firmly against more permissive abortion laws.
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Images available for publication:
March For Life 2017 crowd outside parliament house, taking up the entire area of Speakers Corner and George Street right back to the traffic lights - link to download full resolution image file
Protesters, agaist the Pyne Bills, march along George Street to Speakers Corner outside Parliament. - link to download full resolution image file
Cherish Life Queensland has launched a multi-media advertising campaign to urge voters to contact their state MPs to ask them to vote against the abortion decriminalisation bills before Parliament.
The private member’s bills moved by Independent Cairns MP Rob Pyne last year will be debated on 1 March.
Newspaper advertisements were published today (Tuesday, 14 February) in The Courier-Mail, and four regional daily papers, Gold Coast Bulletin, Sunshine Coast Daily, Cairns Post and Daily Mercury in Mackay.
The ad alerted the public to the fact that the new laws have no effective time limits on abortion, no safeguards for women (such as requirements for independent counselling and a cooling-off period) and would allow abortion for any reason, even gender selection.
It also will be published in 10 local weekly newspapers in the Brisbane region over the next two weeks. A copy of the newspaper ad is here. (click for PDF version)
A two week radio campaign on stations in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Mackay and Cairns also has commenced.
One radio ad explains that “this new law would allow the abortion of an entirely healthy baby of an entirely healthy woman” and says “it’s time to draw the line on abortion.”
Another radio ad on gender selection abortion says: “She’s a healthy baby, full of life and ready to take on the world. But it’s a world she’ll never see… Because she’s a girl. And some parents don’t want girls.”
Listen to the main radio advertisement.
Cherish Life also has started letterboxing flyers and using targeted local online ads on Facebook to alert voters in 14 marginal state electorates about these extreme bills, asking them to tell their MPs to vote No.
An example of one of the local letterbox flyers is below:
Following is an example of one of the targeted local online ads on Facebook:
Cherish Life president Julie Borger said MPs needed to be aware that their constituents would be watching very closely as to how they would vote on the two abortion bills before State Parliament.
“Queenslanders don’t want more abortions,” she said.
She said recent Galaxy research showed that there would be a potential average 6% swing against MPs who voted to legalise abortion. The poll showed 84% of Queenslanders believed abortion harms women’s health and 85% opposed late-term abortions past 20 weeks.
“Abortion is a real vote changer and electors will dispense with any party loyalty to remove MPs who would bring in these extreme laws. This will be a big issue in the run-up to the next election and Cherish Life will be campaigning hard to let electors know how their MPs voted,” Mrs Borger said.
“At the last election both major parties said they would not touch the abortion laws, yet both parties are now giving their MPs a conscience vote so they can go against their election promises. With trust in the political system waning, breaking such a major promise won’t go down well with Queensland voters.
“Cherish Life has been defending the right to life of the unborn in Queensland for more than 45 years and our members are prepared to fight very hard to stand up for those innocent unborn Queenslanders who can’t speak for themselves.”
For further information contact:
Chris Da Silva
Director of Marketing & Communications
Cherish Life Qld
Mobile: 0433 775 429
Cherish Life Qld
Mobile 0412 692 343