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Medical journal article cites ‘flimsy excuses’ to argue for legal abortion

Decriminalisation of abortion would not prevent the kind of legal cases cited in an article in the Medical Journal of Australia today (Eds: 10/10/16) as reasons to change the law, according to Cherish Life Queensland.

Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said it was disingenuous for Professor Heather Douglas of the University of Queensland and Professor Caroline de Costa of James Cook University to use these cases to argue for more permissive abortion laws.

Queensland Parliament Health Committee’s report on the inquiry into Cairns MP Mr Rob Pyne’s first abortion bill stated that even if abortion had been decriminalised, the couple prosecuted in the 2010 Cairns case for illegal abortion could have been prosecuted under other laws for importation of a drug without a permit and for possession of a restricted drug.

The Committee also stated that Mr Pyne’s decriminalisation bill “did not address the legal principles” in the Q case, in which a hospital sought approval from a Rockhampton court in April to perform an abortion on a pregnant 12-year-old.

Mrs Borger said case law in Queensland did not recognise the concept of parental consent for girls under 18 seeking an abortion.

“Either they are deemed to be competent and can make the decision themselves, or a court has to decide,” she said.

“It would be extraordinary if a 12-year-old girl such as Q could meet the legal test of being greater than ‘average intelligence and maturity’ so as to ‘understand fully what is proposed’.

“In fact, Justice Wilson in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1992 stated it was unlikely that any average 12-year-old could fully understand the significance of an abortion.

“Therefore, even if abortion was decriminalised, consent for many under-age girls would still have to be obtained from the court.

“These pro-abortion advocates are grasping at straws in coming up with flimsy excuses to change the law.

“Their true agenda is to make abortion ‘part of mainstream medical practice’, as Professor de Costa was reported as saying in the media today.”

END

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Inquiry report ‘shows decriminalisation must lead to increase in abortions’

The Queensland Parliament Health Committee’s abortion inquiry report clearly shows that the number of abortions must rise if the laws were removed from the Criminal Code, according to Cherish Life Queensland.

The report stated: “Submitters suggested that criminalisation of abortion leads to inequity, as the current laws result in access to services being constrained by geographic location and access to resources.

“Submitters argued that criminalisation of abortion can obstruct services and disproportionately impact on women who are already disadvantaged–such as those who are young; experiencing poverty, violence or mental health issues; live in rural, regional and remote locations; and often Indigenous women who do not have access to such services. (Eds: Page 29)

“Some clinicians reported that the availability of termination services in Queensland, from both public and private sector providers, is adversely affected by the current law.” (Eds: Page 72).

The report quoted the Australian Centre for Health Law Research: “Making the procedure lawful is likely to increase its availability in public health services, therefore increasing access to more women.” (Eds: Page 81).

Yet submitters also argued that “decriminalising abortion does not lead to an increase in abortions and could lead to a decrease. It was argued that there is no correlation between the legality of abortions and the number of abortions performed in any given jurisdiction.” (Eds: Page 30).

“The committee did not pick up on the obvious point that abortion advocates cannot have it both ways,” Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said.

“The inevitable outcome of decriminalisation allowing free abortions on demand in public hospitals will be an increase in the number of abortions performed and the number of women hurt by abortion.”

Mrs Borger welcomed the recommendation of the Health Committee that Independent MP MR Rob Pyne’s Abortion Law reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016 not be passed.

The reasons for this recommendation were that the policy to be given effect by the Bill was not “sufficiently developed”, lacked “rigour” and was not “coherent”, and the Bill failed to achieve a number of its stated objectives:

  1. Preventing a repetition of the 2010 Cairns court case where a young couple was charged with illegal abortion after ordering an abortion drug from overseas on the internet and then self-administering it without medical supervision – as this would still be illegal under other sections of the Criminal Code.

  2. Preventing a repetition of the recent “Q” case in central Queensland where a hospital sought court approval of an abortion on a 12-year-old girl, as it would still be necessary even with decriminalisation to seek court approval for young girls who not competent enough to make their own decision.


Highlights of the 117 page report included:

  • The committee conceded that “a foetus may have some rights as a potential person” (Eds: page 23), but quoting the European Court of Human Rights it said that these must be “limited by the mother’s rights and interests” (Eds: Page 24). Mrs Borger commented: “Of course, we know that the unborn child is a person with potential, not a potential person, and that the right to life of a pre-born child must take priority over his or her mother’s right to the pursuit of her goals or needs as they exist at the time. The right to not be killed supersedes the right to not be pregnant.”
  • The committee has accepted the opinion of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that “abortion is safer than childbirth” (Eds: Page 40). The report also stated that “it is clear that there is no established causal relationship between abortion and mental health outcomes” (Eds: Page 58). Yet it quoted a pro-choice obstetrician/gynaecologist who strongly supported prevention strategies as saying that  “termination of pregnancy should however be a rare procedure as it is traumatic for the women involved and staff providing the service” (Eds: Page 52). Mrs Borger said the truth on the physical and psychological risks of abortion to women could be found at www.abortionfacts.com.
  • The committee seemed to accept highly questionable evidence from the UN Women National Committee Australia that “sexuality education does not hasten sexual activity, but has a positive impact on safer sexual behaviours, and can delay sexual debut” (Eds: Page 54). “In fact, sex education without values is likely to be an incitement to experimentation by young people,” Mrs Borger said.
  • The report reveals that case law in Queensland does not recognise the concept of parental consent for girls under 18. Either they are competent and can make the decision themselves, or a court has to decide (Eds:Page 13).  The Australian Centre for Health Law Research called for this to be “enshrined into legislation” (Eds:Page 61). “The 75% of Queensland voters who believe that parental consent should normally be required for girls under the age of 16 will be horrified to learn that parents have no rights at all to protect their daughters from the harm of abortion,” Mrs Borger said. “
  • Far from enshrining current case law into legislation, Parliament has a duty to pass laws to restore rights to parents to make life-changing health decisions in the interests of their under-age daughters.”
  • The committee stated that Professors Heather Douglas and Caroline de Costa had “identified a practice in Queensland… where doctors manufacture mental illness to justify a lawful abortion in accordance with section 282 of the Criminal Code”. (Eds: Page 64). “This confirms what we already knew that the vast majority of abortions in Queensland are performed unlawfully,” Mrs Borger said.
  • Griffith University Professor of Medical Ethics Eleanor Milligan amazingly was quoted in the report as saying: “Criminalising termination of the pregnancy is not protective of the rights of the foetus” (Eds: Page 81) and “... the interests of the foetus are better served through decriminalisation and the implementation of appropriate medical care within a culture of transparency and reflective practice”. (Eds: Page 82). “So the unborn child is better off dead?” Mrs Borger asked. “How ludicrous! Such incoherent thinking from a highly-paid professor of ethics in a taxpayer-funded institution! This would be laughable if it were not so sad.”
  • The committee seemed to recognise the importance of independent counselling and informed consent, citing Queensland Health guidelines stating that the counsellor should have “no vested interest in the pregnancy outcome” and that informed consent counselling involves ensuring the patient understands “the nature and method of the procedure” and the “risks and complications” (Eds: Pages 84-85). “Of course, in the vast majority of cases, this is not happening,” Mrs Borger said. “Women are not making a free and fully informed choice. The true risks of abortion are being kept from them and they are not informed of the development of the unborn child.”
  • In the report, the committee gave a number of options besides the status quo, one of which was the removal of Section 225, the penalty on the woman. It also raised the possibility of passing the buck by referring consideration of abortion law reform to the Queensland Law Reform Commission. Pleasingly, the committee stated regarding the decriminalisation option that it “considers that simply removing offences from the Criminal Code, without some level of regulation, is inconsistent with community expectations. While professional standards and guidelines provide some protections, further regulation would be consistent with community expectations.” It hinted that its final recommendations from the new inquiry into Mr Pyne’s second Bill would supporthealth legislation dealing with a late-term abortion time limit, conscientious objection, safe access zones around abortion facilities, data collection and counselling services for women (Eds: Pages 77-78). Mrs Borger said it should be noted that if the late-term time limit was effective and informed consent counselling was truly independent and mandatory, this would be a great improvement on the abortion law we have now. “However, despite the fact that the committee has recommended against it, there is a real danger that the first Pyne Billto remove abortion laws from the Criminal Code, or a new Bill to decriminalise abortion, could be supported by a majority in Parliament if voted on together with any health legislation which would emerge from the committee process.”

The Health Committee is conducting a new public inquiry into Mr Pyne’s second Bill, the Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016. The deadline for submissions is 6 October and the committee will report to Parliament no later than 17 February, 2017.

Mr Pyne has stated that he hopes both of his Bills will be debated together.

Mrs Borger encouraged pro-lifers to continue to lobby their MPs and to make a submission to the second inquiry. “If the bulk of the submissions are pro-life, this could have a bearing on the committee’s view of community attitudes,” she said, adding that information on how to do this could be found at www.cherishlife.org.au

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Strong LNP stand against abortion law change welcomed

Cherish Life Queensland has welcomed the overwhelming decision by the LNP State Convention today to oppose changes to the laws on abortion in the Criminal Code.

The convention gave 95% support to the resolution, moved by Senator Barry O’Sullivan, which noted “the widespread community disagreement and disharmony about altering current abortion legislation in Queensland.”

The final resolution was an amended version of motions originating from LNP Women and the Toowoomba North State Electoral Council.

The resolution stated that “any civilised society restricts the individual’s freedom to choose whenever that choice would harm an innocent person.”

The resolution affirmed LNP policy “that there should be no change to sections 224, 225, 226 and 282 of the Queensland Criminal Code”.

Cherish Life president Julie Borger commended the LNP for holding to its long-standing policy and keeping its promise to the people of Queensland at the last election that there would be no change to the abortion laws.

Mrs Borger noted that one of the key terms of reference for the Queensland Parliament Health Committee inquiry into Independent MP Mr Rob Pyne’s first abortion bill was whether “the law needed to be changed “to reflect current community attitudes and expectations.”

“Unlike Mr Pyne and his out-of-touch supporters among the pro-abortion EMILY’S List within the Labor Party, the LNP through this resolution has reflected community attitudes,” she said.

The most recent quality research on abortion in Queensland, a randomised telephone opinion poll conducted by Galaxy in May on behalf of the Australian Family Association, showed that 85% of voters were opposed to late-term abortion after 20 weeks and 53% were opposed to more permissive abortion laws.

END

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Pyne’s new abortion Bill a 'con job'

Labor Independent MP Mr Rob Pyne, was trying to fool Queenslanders into thinking that his second abortion Bill which was tabled yesterday [Eds: 17 August] in State Parliament would be restricting abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, according to Cherish Life Queensland..

"Pyne's new Bill is a con job to trick the public into thinking he is protecting viable babies," Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said.

"The truth is that Pyne's latest Bill is modelled on Victoria's extreme laws," Mrs Borger said.

"The requirement in Pyne's new Bill that abortions after 24 weeks have to be approved by two doctors is simply window dressing to pretty up an ugly piece of legislation. The fact is this is just a sham and a facade, as the second doctor is not required to see or speak to the patient, or even look at her file.

"For that matter, the second doctor does not have to be independent so it could be that the two doctors at an abortion clinic who would profit from the procedure would approve the late-term abortion.

“Furthermore, Mr Pyne’s Bill wimped out on applying any penalty to a doctor disregarding the rules for late-term abortion, specifically stating this would not be an offense.

"How can a just, caring and civilised society allow the killing of pre-born babies, particularly those who would be viable outside the womb?

"If the mother does not want to keep her child, there is no need to destroy the baby in the womb. It would be a more loving alternative to let her be born alive and adopted out."

Mrs Borger said that in Victoria, 179 (or exactly half) of the 358 late-term abortions performed in 2013 (the most recent year released) were done for "psycho-social" reasons, that is on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies.

She said a recent Galaxy poll showed that 94% of Queensland voters were opposed to abortions after 20 weeks.

Mrs Borger said it was ironic for the latest Pyne Bill to describe the proposed no-protest areas around abortion clinics as "protected areas".

"There is no protection inside abortion clinics for either mother or baby, " she said, " as with every abortion, the toll is one dead, one wounded."

Mrs Borger did welcome the one positive aspect of Mr Pyne’s new Bill, that it would give legal protection to the conscientious objection rights of medical professionals.


ENDS

References:

Pyne’s latest Bill - Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016 - http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2016/5516T1292.pdf

Galaxy poll – http://www.abortionrethink.org/images/What_Qlders_Really_Think_About_Abortion.pdf

Victorian late-term abortion figures - http://realchoices.org.au/victorian-perinatal-data/

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Late Term Babies Left to Die

Queensland Health states 27 babies born alive during abortions were left to die!

Queensland Health disclosed to parliament that 27 babies were born alive after abortion and were left to die. “This means that every second week another little baby died after struggling to breathe after being aborted. At the same time, babies of the same gestational age were being cared for in neonatal wards. The only difference? The first group were deemed ‘unwanted’, ‘disabled’ or ‘inconvenient’”, Cherish Life Queensland State President Teresa Martin said.

“If this is the number when preborn babies are still protected by law in this state, what will that figure rise to when all protection for them is removed?” Ms Martin asked, “This is just the figure that is known, but how many more are there that perhaps are not being disclosed?”

There is also grave concern about the medical staff who have had to be part of this ‘procedure’, perhaps even against their own consciences. “This barbaric practice of late term abortion and the subsequent distress of watching the aborted babies slowly die must surely take a toll on their emotional and mental health,” Ms Martin said.

“We strongly encourage our Queensland politicians to call for an inquiry into abortion. Women deserve care and support in a difficult pregnancy, not the death of their child,” she said.

ENDS

Media Contact: Teresa Martin, State President, Cherish Life Queensland
E: [email protected]
Ph: 07 3871 2445

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Qld Abortion Bill 2016

Further comments, clarifications or questions can be directed to Teresa Martin, State President, Cherish Life Queensland Inc - Ph 07 3871 2445.

Release:

“Abortion, whenever it is done, always means the destruction of an unborn human being, and the abandonment of the mother to a desperate decision to have her unborn child killed as a ‘solution’ to her problems,” said Cherish Life Queensland state president Teresa Martin.

“It is totally irrelevant when Queensland law was written - truth doesn’t depend on which century one is born. Very little was known then of the nature of life before birth, yet human life was respected then, more than it is now when so much more is known of the complexity of prenatal development and the undoubted humanity of the unborn has been recognized,” she said.

Mr Pyne has stated he went into politics with “a reform agenda”. If he is serious about this, why does he not concentrate on amending some of the situations that may force a woman to consider abortion, or be forced into an abortion against their will?

Does he realise that for many young and even very young women and teenagers, abortion is a cover for pregnancy as a result of sexual abuse? Or as a result of homelessness due to family breakdowns?

Has he made the time to study the possible physical, mental and social effects of abortion that lead inevitably to much expense to the public health system in an attempt to remedy those effects?

By Medicare figures, Queensland already had well over 10,000 abortions in 2015. What is to be gained by increasing that figure? Is it a sign of a progressive state that many more tiny human beings are being killed every year?

When the Victorian abortion law was changed to allow abortion to up to the day of birth (late term abortion) at the say-so of two doctors, the number of third trimester abortions increased by a factor of 6! These babies are only weeks from birth yet are thrown away like rubbish! It is hard to believe that what has happened both in Victoria and also in Tasmania will not happen here. These babies would be eagerly welcomed by infertile couples.

Mr Pyne seems to be captive to the extreme agenda of the feminist movement as represented through EMILY’s list, a pro-abortion group dedicated to achieving their goals of facilitating pro-abortion women to enter parliament, who are then indebted to them. Their agenda is free legal abortion to birth with no exceptions and the suppression of free speech by so called “exclusion zones” around abortion facilities.

We are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he hasn’t considered all these ramifications, and hope that he is willing to examine the evidence against abortion – that abortion is not good for women. Women deserve better than abortion.

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Public Hospitals to be ‘Corrupted by Abortion Culture’

If abortion is decriminalised in Queensland, the proportion of abortions done by public hospitals would increase from 2% to “20 to 25%”, according to evidence earlier this month from a medical expert to the parliamentary inquiry into abortion laws.

The report of the Health Committee inquiry will be tabled in State Parliament on Tuesday.

Dr Carol Portmann, former director of maternal and foetal medicine at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, who now performs abortions up to 20 weeks as part of her private gynaecology practice, said Queensland Health would have to support public hospitals to cater for this increase in demand.

Currently, Queensland public hospitals only perform “therapeutic terminations” (which meet the current judicial interpretation of the law that for an abortion to be legal there must be a serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health), while 16 private clinics perform the other 98% of abortions which are mainly for financial or social reasons.

This would mean that the number of abortions done in the public hospital system would rise from 295 (out of about 14,000 done in Queensland each year) to more like 3,000 – a 10 times increase.

Dr Portmann said the current “health culture” in Queensland public hospitals would make it difficult to find medical and nursing staff who would be “happy to be involved on a regular basis” in meeting the demand for more abortions.

She said that over time “a significant cultural shift” would occur so that abortion would be considered “part of routine medical care”.

Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said this would corrupt the public hospital system and put great pressure on pro-life doctors and nurses to participate in abortions against their conscience.
 
She said the pro-abortion lobby also gave evidence to the inquiry that decriminalisation would not increase the number of abortions, yet at the same time claimed that some women had not been able to get  access to an abortion because of remoteness from an abortion clinic or lack of money.

“They cannot have it both ways. Obviously, if these women who allegedly cannot access abortion under the current law would be able to obtain it under a decriminalisation regime, then numbers must increase.

“More abortions would hurt more women. With every abortion, the toll is one dead, one wounded.

“We need to look for better ways to support families and not go for the ‘quick-fix’ of abandoning women to abortion and all its harmful consequences.”

END

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At last! Legal support for post-abortive women!

It is with great joy that we see the launch of a website to help women seek legal justice for their unwanted abortions or abortions performed where they were not told the truth about post-abortion trauma.  

We strongly urge you to send the link below to all your friends.

www.abortionlegalsupport.com

You may not even know some of them have had abortions and are hurting.  Let’s help support them and get the word out there.

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Danger of over-the-phone RU-486 availability

“The news that the abortion drug RU-486 will be available after a simple phone conversation with a person in the medical profession licensed to issue this toxic drug regime has been met with extreme concern by Cherish Life Queensland,” Teresa Martin, State President, said. “Under the guise of making abortion more ‘accessible’ for rural women, this will only increase medical problems for these women,” she said.

There are a number of issues of great concern in the “over the phone” issuing of the abortion drug RU-486:

  • Rural women, the very people the Tabbot Foundation (TF) say they are wanting to help, will be in serious danger should they access these abortion drugs and then suffer excessive cramping and haemorrhaging, and due to distance, be unable to access good medical help in an expedient time period.
  • Due to distance and the scarcity of rural medical facilities, the required ultrasounds and blood tests themselves will be quite difficult for these rural women to access in the first place thereby placing them at a serious risk to their health.
  • Most women don’t know their blood group, something that will need to be established prior to taking the abortion drugs. If their blood group is Rhesus negative, they may need medication for Rhesus factor sensitisation. In both these instances, this will mean that doctors and other medical staff will be forced to become part of the abortion process even if they have a conscientious objection to abortion when the woman visits to have their blood group established, any other pathology tests done, ultrasounds performed and any subsequent medical treatment needed prior to taking the RU-486 drugs.
  • As there is no requirement by TF for medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to be assessed, a woman with PCOS may be pregnant with the only child she will ever conceive, but if she is not checked for PCOS how will she be able to consider this possibility? Women deserve all the facts.
  • TF states that this “over the phone” consultation will relieve the pressure on women who are ‘too worried’ about going in to an abortion place, but these same women will still have to front up for blood tests and ultrasounds etc to establish gestational age which will be equally as ‘worrying’ for them.
  • To have an RU-486 abortion, the woman cannot have an IUD in place so she will need to visit her doctor to have this removed. Similarly, the woman can’t have a pelvic infection so again, she will have to visit her doctor to have this established. Both these situations blows out of the water the “embarrassment” excuse that TF use as pressure to have this dangerous drug mail out allowed.
  • Pro-abortion groups have stated that this “over-the-phone” service will halve the cost of abortion for women but this will not be the case if they have to access emergency services, treatments and medications when things go wrong, as they will in some cases.
  • There is also no addressing of the intense situation of these women when they find that the sanctuary of their home has become the tombs for their babies. One can only imagine the mental anguish that this will cause as they see their tiny baby in a pool of blood.
  • On the TF website in a section titled “Parental Consent” which states a ‘mature’ minor may give consent without a guardian. How will it be possible to establish this ‘maturity’ from a mere one-off telephone conversation? What process will they use to be able to deduce that the minor is ‘mature’? How will the issuer of the abortion drugs know that there is no coercion? How will they be able to assess that there has been no sexual abuse or incest and that these drugs are not being pressured upon the minor as a cover-up?
  • TF states that the service will only be offered for pregnancies of fewer than 63 days but what if the mail is delayed and arrives after this time period? How can they be certain that women won’t take it anyway putting them at even greater health risks of bleeding etc?
  • Who will be legally liable if the mail is late? Who will the woman sue – the postal service or the abortion provider?
  • How will it be established that the unborn baby and other pregnancy-related tissue has been fully expelled from the mother’s womb? How will it be possible to fully and accurately access this from a mere follow-up blood test? That will only establish that she is no longer pregnant. It won’t establish that there are “retained products” festering away. There is already documented evidence of one woman In Australia (and at least 14 more world-wide) dying from the effects of an RU-486 abortion – how many more will there be now with this simple-to-obtain mail out of the drugs?
  • According to TF, women will be posted the abortion drugs (Mifepristone and Misoprostol RU486), prophylactic antibiotics, painkillers and anti-nausea drugs. How will the issuer of these drugs ensure that these women don’t get them mixed up and confused? People under stress – and aborting one’s baby would certainly be stressful
  • Patients can and do make mistakes. What if they don’t bother taking the antibiotics or don’t complete the full course leading to a resistance to future antibiotics and/or the mutations of the infection-causing microbes so that they become so-called ‘superbugs’?
  • What if there is an unknown allergy to some of these drugs? How is that being assessed? And what if good medical help, in the instance of rural women, not immediately available? Who will bear that legal liability?
  • At the exorbitant cost of $250, and no doubt with a very large profit margin for the provider, why should the Australian taxpayer, at least half of whom do not agree with abortion, be forced to subsidise through Medicare even more killings of unborn babies?
  • There is no other area of healthcare where medical drugs are dispensed by a mere “over the phone” consultation. This is a highly dangerous situation and women deserve ALL the facts of the dangers of an RU-486 abortion to be presented to them and they certainly deserve a far more all-encompassing exploration of their situation than abortion drugs as the only answer.

“It is a disgusting low blow by TF to be so insulting as to use previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s name for this organisation when he was so opposed to abortion and this abortion drug regime,” Ms Martin said, “It shows the true nature of the types of people behind this organisation and if that is the lack of respect they show to a previous PM, we can’t see them truly caring or showing much respect to abortion-minded women.”

END

Further comments, clarifications or questions can be directed to Teresa Martin, State President, Cherish Life Queensland.

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