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To Oppose Abortion is to Oppose Euthanasia

Euthanasia could easily be explained as “abortion at the other end of life”. The subjects are dehumanised and therefore able to be treated as being lesser human beings, and be disregarded without too much concern. The arguments for both have the same modus operandi.

The Euthanasia debate is always emotional

Proponents of euthanasia use emotional arguments to sell their case because the cold hard facts are condemning, as euthanasia, just like abortion, is in fact taking of life. Emotional buy-in is sought because once the bait is taken; the rational processing of facts is suspended.

Euthanasia and “assisted suicide” activists will give examples of intolerable suffering and pain. Sometimes this happens because the condition simply isn’t managed properly. The reality is that, for a palliative care professional, genuinely untreatable pain is a very rare event, and even these cases further sedation options are available to help to make the dying process tolerable.

Good palliative care can make a world of difference, as it improves the quality of life for patients who are suffering near the end of life. Palliative care is a specialty of medicine often overlooked in budget allocation; sadly there is a shortage of palliative specialists and carers in Queensland. Some recipients of good palliative care can go onto make a remarkable recovery - at Cabrini Health’s palliative care facility in Melbourne, half of their palliative care patients actually walk back out the front door after treatment.

So what’s the euthanasia debate really about?

It’s all about suicide. What activists are really asking for is an exception to the Criminal Code against homicide so they can get someone else to perform the deed.

Not only is this legalisation prone to abuses including elder abuse, it suffers from scope creep, corrupts healthy medical culture, and is inherently dangerous, as evidenced by the over 60 “safeguards” written into the Victorian legislation.

Euthanasia activist groups have always been about suicide. In the US, the Compassion and Choices organisation was originally known as the Hemlock Society until 2003 when it changed its name. In Australia, the right-to-die societies have mostly taken on the Dying With Dignity naming and have hidden their classes on how to die, so they will no longer be seen as extreme and politicians will be prepared to deal with them.

The outlier on how-to-die workshops is Australia's “Dr Death” Philip Nitschke, whom the other groups dare not mention. Having abandoned the legislative approach, he’s taken the technology route instead and has no reason to be anything less than intellectually honest as to what it’s all about.

Euthanasia and its euphemistic step-sister “assisted suicide” undermines government and community efforts to curtail the Australian suicide epidemic.

Ultimately, this is about killing people. We need to be strong and consistent in our stand to protect human life from conception to natural death.

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#1 Voting Issue this Federal Election: Life or Death

This federal election, Labor has made nationwide open-slather “free” abortions part of its policy platform.

While it’s heart-breaking that the war on unborn human beings rages stronger still, there is a small silver lining: Labor’s killing agenda, no doubt largely EMILY’s List driven, is no longer a dirty little caucus secret – it’s been proclaimed to the world! Hopefully, this cruel killing agenda will cost them the election.

Over the years, Labor state and territory governments have made unrestricted access to late-term abortion a policy priority, as evidenced by their successful implementation of brutal late-term abortion laws in Queensland, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory (see table below for details). A Labor victory in the federal election would herald unprecedented pressure on the states and territories to provide abortions at all taxpayer-funded public hospitals, so abortion is free across Australia. Labor has openly threatened it could withhold up to billions of dollars worth of health funding to the states and territories in the event of non-compliance.

Labor’s abortion plans also include pressuring the NSW state government to decriminalise abortion, and to build an abortion clinic in Tasmania courtesy of the humble taxpayer, as well as pressuring the SA state government to fully decriminalise abortion – as that state operates under a hybrid model.

Of course, this extreme accessibility is unnecessary from a purely supply perspective, as the abortion industry is already thriving in Australia. There are around 70,000 to 80,000 abortions a year – tragically Australia’s abortion rate is one of the highest among developed nations. In comparison, the US abortion rate is 30% lower than ours and Germany’s abortion rate is 70% less. Even in NSW where abortion is still technically  under the Criminal Code, abortion access is high, evidenced by the 20,000 aborted babies in the state every year.

Offering free abortion is sure to be a vote-winner for Labor, because everyone loves free stuff, right? Not so in the case of abortion. 51% of Queenslanders are opposed to public funding of abortion (ref question 21). And it’s a safe bet that the typical taxpayer won’t be wildly excited about the estimated $80 million plus cost to the public purse to fund the killing of more babies. Under Labor, public hospitals will be tasked with the nightmare of aborting unborn babies on demand, even full-term healthy babies to healthy mothers, as is already the case in Victoria.

At present, only about 10% of terminations in Australia are performed in public hospitals, so increasing that to close to 100% of abortions (because why pay when it’s free elsewhere) would put a tremendous strain on our health care system. It’s likely that wait times would blow out further, and that all trainee doctors in public hospitals would have to train in performing surgical and medical abortions. Obviously, the idea of performing an abortion is repugnant to many, particularly those of a monotheist faith (Christianity, Judaism or Islam) – which represents well over 50% of the Australian population according to the 2016 census. The thought of performing an abortion is likely to deter many people of faith from studying medicine. In time this would lead to a decrease in the quality of students studying medicine (as typically only the best students are accepted) and more doctor shortages, which would no doubt be mostly felt in rural regional areas. The ramifications of making abortion free and on demand with no restrictions is far-reaching and culture-shifting - it would undeniably corrupt the life-saving ethos of public hospitals.  

Federal Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, who is also an EMILY’s Lister (surprise!) said a Labor federal government would fix the “patchwork of inconsistent laws” across Australia. Crudely put, she wants abortion like McDonald’s - wherever you go in Australia you can get exactly the same thing. In practice, this would mean pressure on the states and territories with comparatively less extreme abortion laws to loosen them further to be in line with the most extreme jurisdictions  – namely Victoria, Queensland and the ACT where abortion to birth has been legalised for any reason. This is consistent with the objective of EMILY’s List’s, and now Labor’s, philosophy of having unrestricted access to free abortion right through pregnancy. In other words, abortion would be legal to birth for any reason in every state under Labor’s intended totalitarian abortion regime. 

It’s painfully clear that Labor’s plans would put upward pressure on the incidence of abortion, and there’s no doubt that under a under Labor there would be more abortions, including late-term abortions. Late-term abortions in Victorian have gone up on average by 40% year since the passing of Labor’s abortion-to-birth Bill there in 2008.  Also of concern is that there is no proposal to increase the accessibility and funding of alternatives to abortion like adoption. So much for so-called “choice” that Labor espouses. Australia’s adoption rate is shamefully bad - in the financial year 2017/2018 there were 32 local adoptions while there were approximately 80,000 abortions. That is an abortion to adoption rate of 2,500 to 1. This would only get worse with a Shorten Labor government.

This federal election, like no other federal election in Australia’s history, everyone’s vote will be for life or death. A vote for Labor or Greens will be a vote for more abortion, including the legal taxpayer-funded termination of babies to full term.

Preferences are likely to be crucially important at this election, as the result may well come down to the wire. In practically every election, preferences determine which party has the numbers to win government.

Please number each box on your ballot paper carefully, as in this election preferences may well have the power to save or kill.

It’s crucially important that all of us who love life spread the word: A vote for Labor this election will mean more babies killed and more women harmed by abortion.

Please vote for life, by putting Labor and Greens LAST this federal election.

SUMMARY OF AUSTRALIAN ABORTION LAWS – LABOR’s ABORTION OBSESSION

1. Australian State & Territory Termination of Pregnancy jurisdictions

STATE

LAW (link) / year

Summary** (more comprehenisve summary in the below table)

Political Party’s Bill

Queensland

Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018

Abortion to birth legal for any reason

Labor

Victoria

Abortion Law Reform Act 2008

Abortion to birth legal for any reason

Labor

Tasmania

Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Act 2013

Abortion to 16 weeks for any reason; 16 weeks to birth for medical/ psychological reasons.

Labor

Western Australia

Acts Amendment (Abortion) Act 1998

Abortion to 20 weeks for any reason; 20 weeks to birth for medical reasons.

Labor

ACT

Crimes (Abolition of Offence of Abortion) Act 2002;

Health (Patient Privacy) Amendment Act 2015

Abortion to birth legal for any reason

Labor

South Australia

Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (Current Version, Part 3 Division 17)

Abortion to 28 weeks for mental/physical health of mother or fetal disability.

Labor

New South Wales

Crimes Act 1990 (ss 224-226); R v Wald (1971);

Abortion lawful in practice because of case law, abortion on demand available at private abortion clinics up to 20 weeks gestation. Abortion still officially sits under the Criminal Code in NSW but there are approximately 20,000 abortions a year in NSW, effectively there is abortion on demand to 20 weeks gestation in NSW. Abortions post 20 weeks can be obtained for serious fetal abnormality or if the life of the mother is at risk.

-In 2017 a Greens’ Bill to decriminalise abortion was defeated 25 to 14 in the NSW upper house.

- 150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics since June 2018 (except for election materials)

N/A - case law

Northern Territory

Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Act 2017

Abortion to 14 weeks for any reason. Abortion 14 to 23 weeks based on wide range of criteria including “social circumstances”. Post 23 weeks abortion is legal to save a woman’s life.

Labor

 

2. Expanded summary of abortion laws

STATE

LAWS

Queensland

- 22 weeks on request.

- 22 weeks to birth on a range of criteria including “social circumstances”.

- Doctors with conscientious objection to abortion must refer anyway.

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

- 150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions (the cruel method banned in the US where a late-term baby is partially delivered feet first and then the baby’s head is decompressed while still in the birth canal).

Victoria

- 24 weeks on request.

- 24 weeks to birth on a range of criteria including “social circumstances”.

- Doctors with conscientious objection to abortion must refer anyway.

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

- 150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions.

ACT

-Abortion is legal at any gestation until birth.

-Abortion is permitted by any registered medical practitioner in a medical facility or part of a medical facility approved by the Minister for Health.

- Every person has the right to refuse to assist with an abortion.

- 50 metre exclusion zones around abortion clinics. Penalty for breach: maximum 25 penalty units for engaging in prohibited behaviour; maximum 50 penalty units and/or 6 months’ imprisonment for publishing video of person entering/leaving facility.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions.

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

Tasmania

- 16 weeks on request.

- 16 weeks to birth requiring consent of two doctors on medical  or psychological grounds.

- At least one of the doctors must specialise in obstetrics or gynaecology.

- Doctors with conscientious objection to abortion must refer anyway.

- Doctors, nurses and midwives continue to have a duty to treat during an emergency if a termination is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or prevent serious physical injury.

- Doctors who hold a conscientious objection and fail to provide a woman with the list of prescribed health services risk professional (not criminal) sanctions.

- It is a crime for a person to terminate a pregnancy without a woman’s consent.

- It is also a crime for a person who is not a medical practitioner to terminate a pregnancy.

- 150 metre exclusion zone.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions.

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

Western Australia

- Legal Up to 20 weeks on request to counselling by a medical practitioner other than the one performing the abortion

- When the life or physical or mental health of the woman is endangered and when the pregnancy causes serious danger to the woman's mental health, or when serious personal, family or social circumstances,

- After 20 weeks, for severe fetal abnormality – must be confirmed by two independently appointed doctors.

- The medical practitioner must provide the woman with counselling about the medical risks of having a termination and of continuing the pregnancy.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions.

Northern Territory

-Abortion legal up to 14 weeks gestation on request

- Abortion legal 14 weeks to 23 weeks on under a broad of criteria including social circumstances.

-Abortion legal from 23 weeks gestation to save the life of a woman.

- 150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics

- no requirement of parental approval for abortions

- RU486 tablets provided for early medical abortions.

- Doctors with conscientious objection to abortion must refer anyway.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions.

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

South Australia

A 1969 statutory amendment allows abortion when:

●      two doctors determine the abortion necessary on mental or physical health grounds or for foetal abnormalities

●      performed in a prescribed hospital before the woman is 28 weeks pregnant and thereafter only to preserve the woman’s health

●      the woman has resided in South Australia for two months.

In an emergency, these provisions may be waived.

- No provision to provide medical care for babies born alive in failed abortion procedures (babies left to die).

- No ban on partial birth abortions.

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

New South Wales

Abortion lawful in practice because of case law, abortion on demand is available at private abortion clinics for up to 20 weeks gestation. Abortions post 20 weeks can be obtained for serious fetal abnormality or if the life of the mother is at risk.

Abortion is still listed as a crime under sections 82–84 of the Crimes Act 1900 (punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment), but the interpretation of the law is subject to the Levine ruling, from R v Wald of 1971,based on another ruling which held an abortion to be legal if a doctor had an honest and reasonable belief that, due to 'any economic, social or medical ground or reason', the abortion was necessary to 'preserve the woman involved from serious danger to her life or physical or mental health which the continuance of the pregnancy would entail'.

-This was expanded by CES v Superclinics Australia Pty Ltd (1995), which extended the period during which health concerns might be considered from the duration of pregnancy to any period during the woman's life, even after the birth of the child.

-In 2006, a doctor, Suman Sood, was convicted of two counts of performing an illegal abortion where she failed to enquire as to whether a lawful reason for performing the abortion did exist before supplying drugs.

-In 2017 a Greens’ Bill to decriminalise abortion was defeated 25 to 14 in the NSW upper house.

- 150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics since June 2018 (except for election materials)

- No safeguards for women considering abortion (like counselling).

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Breaking: ALP makes abortion a federal election issue

Cherish Life Queensland has sharply condemned federal Labor for its election commitment to make abortion 100% free and open slather right across Australia, as unnecessary and brutal.

“Labor is becoming known as the late-term abortion party - it seems to be their disturbing obsession. Nowadays the ALP stands for the Anti-Life Party,” Ms Teeshan Johnson, executive director of Cherish Life Queensland said.

“Every extreme abortion law in the Australian states and territories has been the work of a Labor majority government with a Labor abortion Bill, and now Labor want to the same federally. It’s a disgrace and completely unnecessary - there is already abortion on demand right across Australia. Australia has one of the highest rates of abortion per capita amongst developed nations and has the worst abortion to adoption ratio.

“In Queensland, some women in rural and regional areas are being forced to have babies on the side of the road because successive state Labor governments have closed down numerous rural and regional birthing centres, while under a Labor federal government essential health funds would be used for the killing of babies. The situation for babies and women under any Labor government is dire.

“The price tag for abortions annually across Australia is close to $70 million, despite the fact that many taxpayers don’t want to pay for killing babies and harming women.

“Using more taxpayer money to further fund the killing of unborn babies is an abrogation of the first duty of government, which is to protect innocent human life. MPs and candidates of this extreme abortion mindset do not deserve to be in government, and we will be doing all we can to keep them out of government, and cause them to lose their seats to pro-life politicians.

As a consequence of Labor’s abortion platform, Cherish Life in conjunction with other pro-life communities are campaigning against EMILY’s List MPs and helping pro-life MPs ahead of the federal election. We urge all who respect human life to get involved, and put Labor last this election. A vote for Labor will be a vote for more abortion.

“Ridiculous and misleading claims from the pro-abortion lobby that the number of abortions would not increase if they were made free and even more accessible defies logic, the laws of economics and international trends. The way to decrease abortion rates is through education, better social supports and services for pregnant women like counselling, as well as adoption reform – none of these practical pro-woman measures are in Labor’s brutal policy platform. “ Ms Johnson said.

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Euthanasia Campaign Based On ‘Deception and Fear’

The campaign to legalise euthanasia in Queensland is based on deception and fear, according to Cherish Life Queensland.

“There is nothing dignified about killing a vulnerable human being, who is in need of good medical care, support and protection,” Cherish Life Queensland executive director Teeshan Johnson 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 and to do so would be extremely bad public policy.

“The Queensland Parliament inquiry into end-of-life issues must encompass the need for adequate resourcing of palliative care and public education on the dying process, and examine the abuses that occur in the Netherlands, one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal.”

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Pro-Lifers Support Alternate Nurses Union’s Growing Numbers

Cherish Life Queensland has welcomed the growing popularity of the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland (NPAQ) at the expense of the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU).

“The QNMU, like the AMAQ, did not properly survey or consult its members before giving public support to the extreme and brutal Termination of Pregnancy Bill, whereas the NPAQ did not support the Bill,” Ms Teeshan Johnson, executive director of Cherish Life Queensland said.

“A high proportion of Cherish Life supporters are doctors and nurses and, like all pro-lifers, they were appalled by the support given by the QNMU and AMAQ to this abortion-to-birth law - particularly considering that the Termination of Pregnancy Act does not afford a full conscientious objection to doctors, nurses and pharmacists, who at the very least must refer for abortion and therefore be complicit in the outcome.

“Cherish Life also welcomes the commencement of a rival teacher’s union to the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU). The QTU also was very vocal in its support of the Termination of Pregnancy Act.

“We will be encouraging our members who are teachers to consider exiting the pro-abortion QTU, if they haven’t already, and joining the new union.

“Sadly, many of the long-established unions have been hijacked by extreme left-wing social engineers who use the unions’ influence and money for social degradation rather than truly representing and helping the members.

“If the AMAQ’s leadership doesn’t dramatically change for the better, we hope that a rival medical association arises in Queensland,” Ms Johnson said.

ENDS

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Thank you Queenslanders!

Thank you for your commitment to life and all you did during this critical campaign. A vibrant and growing prolife community, Cherish Life Queensland:

  • Marched and rallied five times across Queensland — twice in Brisbane, and in Cairns, Toowoomba and Mackay. The Brisbane March for Life attracted a record crowd of more than 4,000, almost five times bigger than any “pro-choice” or pro-abortion rally in Queensland
  • Delivered educational flyers on the Bill to almost 300,000 letterboxes in 15 targeted electorates across Queensland, encouraging people to lobby their state MP against the Bill
  • Wrote thousands of submissions to the Queensland Parliament Health Committee against the Termination of Pregnancy Bill — of the 4,800 listed on the committee website, 78% were against the Bill
  • Helped to organise thousands of letters and emails to MPs — one of our wonderful supporters organised more than 3,000 letters to be written by constituents in Brisbane Labor seats!
  • Helped to obtain almost 40,000 signatures on an online and paper parliamentary petition against the Bill sponsored by ACL state director Wendy Francis
  • Distributed more than 50,000 information handouts to supporters and churches across Queensland, equipping people on how to oppose the Bill.
  • Co-commissioned with the Australian Family Association a 21 question YouGov Galaxy Poll to establish what Queenslanders really think about abortion — the most comprehensive poll on abortion in Queensland ever, which found only 6% of Queenslanders agreed with abortion past 23 weeks gestation (the entire report is available at www.cherishlife.org.au)
  • Had scores of letters published in The Courier-Mail and other newspapers
  • Met with almost all MPs on this issue
  • Made thousands of phone calls to MPs’ offices (in conjunction with ACL and AFA)
  • Hosted a parliamentary briefing for MPs on abortion coercion
  • Co-hosted a parliamentary panel on abortion with ACL and AFA, to which all MPs were invited. The livestream video of this event can be viewed at www.cherishlife.org.au/resources/videos

In addition:

Many people earnestly prayed and fasted for the defeat of this Bill. Thank you!

The Brisbane Catholic Archdiocese conducted a survey with about 25,000 respondents, of whom 98% were vehemently opposed to the Bill — particularly in Labor seats. These people were encouraged to write letters or emails to their MPs.

A special thank you to two pro-family groups, AFA and ACL, which ran complementary campaigns against this abhorrent Bill.

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Pro-life Warning: Abortion-minded Labor MPs & Candidates To Be Targeted At Federal Election

Ahead of Labor’s National Conference this weekend, Cherish Life Queensland has announced that it will campaign strongly at next year’s federal election against Labor MPs and candidates of an abortion mindset.

Ms Teeshan Johnson, executive director of Cherish Life Queensland, said: “We condemn the undertaking by federal Labor to use taxpayer money to increase ‘accessibility’ to abortion, if it wins the 2019 federal election, as brutal and unnecessary.

“Abortion is already highly accessible in Australia with about 80,000 terminations a year. Most of these qualify for a Medicare rebate, which costs taxpayers more than $10 million a year,” Ms Johnson said. 

“Using more taxpayer money to further fund the killing unborn babies is an abrogation of the first duty of government, which is to protect innocent human life. MPs and candidates of this extreme abortion mindset do not deserve to be in government, and we will be doing all we can to keep them out of government, and cause them to lose their seats to pro-life politicians. 

“Also deeply concerning is the Labor for Choice motion to be tabled at the conference which seeks to bind all Labor MPs to vote for more permissive abortion legislation, by removing the historical conscience vote on this issue. Freedom of conscience is a fundamental human right under international law.

“The right to a conscience vote on abortion has been included in the federal platform of the Labor Party since 1984, properly recognising that abortion is a life or death issue and not merely a legal or medical one. If the ALP national conference votes to bind its MPs to vote for extreme abortion laws, they would be imposing their morality on some of their colleagues and ironically denying them their ‘choice’ by compelling them to vote against their personal convictions.

“If Labor for Choice is successful in removing the conscience vote from every Labor MP around Australia, it will mean that the pro-life movement will have to widen its campaign to target Labor as a party, instead of just individual pro-abortion MPs and candidates.

“This would be a great shame, as we know there are still some Labor MPs and Senators of goodwill with a strong life ethos.

“Removing the conscience vote would be a dictatorial action which would show Labor values adherence to ideology above freedom of conscience, even on matters as serious as killing. It also would send the message to prospective and existing Labor members with a strong life ethos that they would not be welcome in the party.

“As well as campaigning against Labor MPs and candidates who hold an extreme abortion ideology at the federal election, Cherish Life Queensland has offered support to several pro-life or life-supporting MPs including the Member for Dawson, George Christensen.”

Cherish Life Queensland is calling for public donations for the federal election campaign for life, following the extensive state-wide campaign it ran against the Termination of Pregnancy Bill earlier this year.

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How did your Queensland State MP vote on abortion?

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End-of-life inquiry 'just a tactic to legalise euthanasia'

The decision by the Queensland Labor Government to include euthanasia in an end-of-life inquiry has been condemned by Cherish Life Queensland as a tactic with the end goal being expanding “state-sanctioned killing” from the unborn to the elderly, sick and/ or disabled.

Cherish Life president Dr Donna Purcell said an inquiry to improve aged care and increase funding for palliative care services was needed, but these crucial areas were being used as a smokescreen and would not be given the attention they deserved given euthanasia was part of the terms of reference.

“Holding a parliamentary inquiry with a committee controlled by pro-euthanasia MPs is just following the tactic which enabled the Victorian Government to legalise assisted suicide last year, while ignoring the need to boost funding for palliative care.

“Legalisation of euthanasia would expose the vulnerable elderly and terminally ill to pressure – real or imagined – to do the ‘right thing’ and request death so they are not a ‘burden on their family’.

“Sending the message that some lives are not worth living is also utterly counter-productive to combating Australia’s suicide epidemic.

“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 reasons why this state-sanctioned killing is opposed by both the AMA and the World Medical Association.

“Euthanasia advocates give the false impression that terminally ill patients have to suffer excruciating pain and dreadful agony.

“This is simply not the case, as the advanced palliative care available today means that every Australian can have the hope of a tolerable dying process.
“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.

“Doctors should kill the pain, not the patient.”

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