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
Email [email protected]
Mobile: 0433 775 429
Cherish Life Qld
Email [email protected]
Mobile 0412 692 343
Cherish Life Queensland representatives, research director Kara Thomas and vice-president Dr Donna Purcell, gave evidence at the Queensland Parliament Health Committee public hearings on 27 October into the second Pyne bill, the Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill.
In her opening statement, Mrs Thomas argued that the most important consideration in this debate was “What are the unborn?”
“For we must answer this question before we as a society decide it is morally acceptable to destroy them as the answer to crisis pregnancy,” she stated.
Cherish Life research director Kara Thomas and
vice-president Alan Baker outside the
Parliamentary Annexe after the last hearing.
“Ideas have consequences and the idea that the unborn child can be dehumanised as a non-person and excluded from the human family based on size, level of development, location or age, is a dangerous idea. For we cannot diminish the value of one category of human life - the unborn - without diminishing the value of all human life,” she said.
The second Pyne bill supports abortion on demand to 24 weeks’ gestation and beyond that time for essentially any reason with the agreement of two doctors. The doctors can both be abortionists, the second doctor does not even have to see the patient and there is no penalty if a second opinion is not sought.
The Committee report into the first bill stated: “No women wants an abortion.”
“Yet this second bill does not address any of the recommendations designed to provide women real choice. Instead it continues to advocate for expanded access to one choice. Accepting such a premise amounts to state-sanctioned coercion, veiled in liberty rhetoric.
“The last thing women need is more permissive abortion laws, as Mr Pyne is proposing. Instead, they need whatever protection the current law can provide, as well as full and accurate information, real support and safeguards such as independent counselling and cooling-off periods,” Mrs Thomas said. “Women deserve better than abortion.
“The bill before the committee would allow for the dismemberment, lethal injection or cranial decompression (partial birth abortion) of babies the same age as those in our Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). This barbarism is being considered as the principal solution to crisis pregnancy.Babies deserve better than abortion.
“Denying the unborn the status of personhood is a tool, that has been used throughout history by the strong to take away the rights of the weak. Abortion discriminates against the unborn based on age, size and location.”
Mrs Thomas reminded the committee of a statement made by Martin Luther King, who fought for the right of all human beings to be treated equally: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Our society deserves better than abortion, she said.
The Committee has received a combined total of more than 2,500 submissions, with the vast majority opposed to more permissive abortion laws. Mrs Thomas said this was significant considering a recent domestic violence Queensland parliament inquiry received only 20 submissions.
Additionally, a petition against the first Pyne bill, which would totally decriminalise abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, received more than 23,000 signatures. A current petition against the second bill has more than 12,000 signatures and growing.
“Clearly, Queenslanders are not supportive of this irresponsible abortion reform that is lethal to the unborn, harmful for women and destructive to our community,” Mrs Thomas said.
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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 news.com.au 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.
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.”
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:
- 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.
- 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
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.
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 - 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/
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
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.