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.
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