The Labor Government’s decriminalisation bill announced today effectively will allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason, according to Cherish Life Queensland.
“This extreme legislation will allow abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy – the earliest age of viability – with the approval of two doctors who can base their decision on a woman’s ‘social circumstances’,” executive director Ms Teeshan Johnson said.
“In recent years, almost half of the late-term abortions in Victoria, which has a similar so-called ‘limit’, have been performed on ‘psycho-social’ grounds.
“This radical bill is a con job to try to trick the Queensland public into thinking there will be an effective restriction on late-term abortions, when in fact it will legalise the killing of healthy viable unborn babies for social or financial reasons.
“Recent research by YouGovGalaxy showed that only 5% of Queensland voters support abortion after 23 weeks, with 73% opposed.
“Also, the price of endorsing decriminalisation is that abortion will be legal for sex selection.
“The inconvenient truth is that abortion for any reason means legalising the killing of unborn baby girls, just because they are female.
“Only 6% of Queenslanders support sex-selection abortions, with 85% opposed.
“There is evidence that gender selection abortions do occur in Australia, provided by a demographic study using ABS data from 2003 to 2013 showing ‘1,395 missing girls’, which was reported by SBS and Daily Mail Australia in 2015.
“And in 2013 Dr Mark Hobart of Melbourne faced disciplinary charges for refusing to refer a couple for a sex selection abortion in Victoria.
“Inevitably, the overall number of abortions in Queensland will increase after decriminalisation, as it will become freely available in public hospitals, which is not currently the case.
“The more abortions that occur, the more women will be harmed psychologically and physically.
“This bill is unnecessary, as under the current law, abortion is readily accessible in private clinics and there are about 14,000 terminations in Queensland each year. How many abortions are enough?”
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Cherish Life Queensland has condemned the Dying with Dignity launch at Queensland Parliament today as completely undignified.
“There is nothing dignified about killing a vulnerable human being, who is in need of good medical care, support and protection,” Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said.
“This push to create a culture of death is utterly counter-productive to combating Australia’s suicide epidemic.
“The campaign to legalise euthanasia in Queensland is based on deception and fear.
“Euthanasia advocates give the false impression that terminally ill patients have to suffer excruciating pain and dreadful agony.
“This is simply not the case with the advanced health care available today in Australia.
“It is entirely ethical, completely legal and best medical practice for a doctor to do whatever it takes to relieve a patient’s pain, even if it has the unintended but possible effect of hastening death.
“In the very rare cases when physical pain cannot be managed adequately, palliative care specialists can use a form of light sedation to keep the dying patient comfortable, whether to allow a brief ‘time out’ at peaks of pain, or to manage terminal symptoms.
“If euthanasia was legalised, any terminally ill patients, who need love and care, would feel pressure - whether real or imagined - to do ‘the right thing’ and request euthanasia so they are not ‘a burden on their family’.
“No safeguards are effective when it comes to euthanasia. It is open to serious manipulation and can be the worst and ultimate form of abuse of those who are ill, elderly, or disabled.
“This is one of the many reasons why the Australian Medical Association is opposed to the legalisation of euthanasia and instead supports palliative care, which is the true form of assisted dying.
“Palliative care focuses on relieving pain and keeping patients comfortable in order to allow a natural and dignified death at their appointed time.
“Good medical practice is all about facilitating natural death with dignity and peace.
“As part of this care, patients have autonomy and choice, as they have the right to refuse medical treatment that they consider to be futile or burdensome, or delaying the dying process.
“Doctors should kill the pain, not the patient.
“There is no need for euthanasia to be legalised.
“If there is to be a parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life issues, it must encompass the need for adequate resourcing of palliative care and public education on the dying process.”
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