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‘Just another choice’ – aborting for Down syndrome

Reading the recent news surrounding the new non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) procedure, a simple blood test in the first trimester of pregnancy that can detect Down syndrome with 99% accuracy, I came across a 2013 article titled “Is this the beginning of the end for Down syndrome?”

It included a statement by geneticist Professor Jane Halliday that stopped me in my tracks. In regard to prenatal testing, she called it “just another choice”.

This statement was in response to a claim by an organisation in New Zealand called Saving Down Syndrome, who believe this is a form of eugenics, a breeding out of “inferior” humans.

“Just another choice” is a powerful statement. It suggests that all choices are equal, but is this really true or should it matter what we choose and what the consequences are of those choices, for ourselves, for others and for the social fabric of our society?

People do indeed make all sorts of choices every day. Trivial choices like what we choose to eat for lunch, what we choose to wear, whether we choose to brush our teeth. All of which have little impact on another human being.

People can choose to care for or neglect their kids, to love or abuse their spouse, to obey the law or to break it. But they are not equally good. Such choices powerfully demonstrate how one person’s choice can lead to the harm or destruction of another.

Not all choices are equal, so it does matter what is being chosen!

While Halliday claims people make all kinds of choices in life and therefore prenatal testing is just another choice, this isn’t true. Terminating a human being because they happen to have a disability is not just. If this is permissible, why not allow aborting babies because they are the wrong gender?

Given NIPT can accurately predict gender as well as Down syndrome, Professor Halliday would be unlikely to share the concerns of Queensland fertility doctor and gynaecologist Dr David Molloy who said there was a “real ethical risk” that expectant parents who are given the NIPT procedure might terminate their unborn children if they were not happy with the gender.

Gender selection abortion and infanticide is due to many cultures believing women are “inferior” to men.

The choice to terminate the unborn who happen to be female has resulted in the world missing 200 million women, close to 1,500 of them from Australia according to a 2015 SBS investigation.

Pre-natal testing is resulting in unborn children who happen to have Down syndrome being screened out of existence because they are believed to be, while many may not say it, “inferior” to able people. How many people with Down syndrome is the world missing?

Is eliminating people with Down syndrome through prenatal testing a moral good that will somehow make the world a better place by decreasing the perceived work and expense of those who are able?

The world is not better by eliminating diversity, by reducing the need to serve others, or by being obsessed with our own personal wants. Choices have consequences and it matters how we live and what choices we make individually and collectively.

A world without Down syndrome would not be a better or more moral world. History clearly shows that when cultures devalue any group of people, based on gender, race, religion or disability, the result is destruction, not liberation.

Kara Thomas is Director of Research, Policy and Advocacy at Cherish Life Queensland.

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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.”



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
  • 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



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.



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.



Pyne’s latest Bill - Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016 -

Galaxy poll –

Victorian late-term abortion figures -


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.


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


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.


“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.


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.”



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.

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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