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Abortion Bill report flawed by rushed process, bias and censorship

MEDIA RELEASE – 5 October, 2018

 

It’s not surprising that 4 out of the 6 Health Committee members arrived at what seemed a pre-determined outcome, with just the two LNP MPs dissenting.

The Health Committee inquiry into the Termination of Pregnancy Bill was badly flawed, due to a rushed schedule and a bias towards supporters of the Bill, with just 40% of the total time across the three public hearings given to pro-life witnesses, and 60% to pro-abortion or pro-choice witnesses. This is particularly unfair given that of the 4,855 public submissions uploaded on the parliamentary website, 78% were opposed to the Bill, with 15% in favour and 7% unsure.

“With three Labor MPs and one Greens MP controlling the committee, this bias was perhaps even more pronounced in the selection of expert witnesses,” Cherish Life executive director Ms Teeshan Johnson said.

“There were 10 pro-abortion or pro-choice doctors up against just two pro-life doctors, an invited pro-life obstetrician not allowed to speak despite that session finishing early, and six lawyers supporting the Bill with no pro-life lawyers invited to put the other side.

“With a strong pro-abortion bias and line of questioning, it was obvious that the majority of the Health Committee was going through the motions to ensure that Government’s Bill would be recommended to be passed.

“This was particularly true of Labor MP and pro-abortion EMILY’s Lister Nikki Boyd, who although not officially a committee member, was a very vocal panellist for every briefing and hearing, and Greens MP Michael Berkman, who spoke at a pro-abortion rally during the committee process and whose partner is a manager at Children by Choice.

“Furthermore, the censorship of aspects of some submissions by the majority on the committee needs to be called out.

“The Health Committee did state on its website page that it had ‘resolved not to accept images of foetuses or the outcomes of medical procedures’ in submissions.

“In the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life submission (no. 461), even the logo of the Federation, which featured a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of an unborn child in the womb, was blacked out in the published version on the Committee’s page, as were formal medical diagrams used on the floor of the US Senate when discussing the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act 2003.

“Amazingly, parts of the actual wording of several submissions, including the one from the Federation, also were blacked out.

“In the Federation’s submission, part of the actual wording of the US Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act 2003 was blacked out, as was part of the transcript of current affairs programs on abortion broadcast nationally to the Australian public on SBS in 2005 and Channel 9 in 2006, and part of the testimony of an Australian woman, who recounted her experience of aborting a 16 week pregnancy.

“What possible justification is there for this censorship? It seemed like the majority of the Health Committee was not interested in the truth about what abortion involves.

“If the US Senate as well as the Australian public, through SBS and Channel 9 national current affairs programs, can be shown and told how abortions are done, then the Queensland Parliament Health Committee charged with the responsibility of impartially reviewing this Bill seeking to remove the law on abortion from the Criminal Code, so as to legalise terminations for any reason until 22 weeks of pregnancy, should have been able to open their eyes and ears to exactly what they were going to approve.

“It is very concerning that the majority of this Committee did not want to see, hear or know about what exactly they have recommended to be legalised, presumably because they did not want to deal with reality and the destruction that abortion brings.”

In giving support to the Termination of Pregnancy Bill, some very concerning aspects of the Bill endorsed by the Health Committee were:

ABORTION TO BIRTH WOULD BE LEGAL

The Queensland Government’s Termination of Pregnancy Bill would legalise abortion on request, no questions asked, for any reason up to 22 weeks.

From 22 weeks until birth (because there is no upper limit), the Bill would legalise abortion under expanded criteria including "current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances", with the approval of two doctors.

These loose rules do not require the second doctor to see the patient or even look at her file. If a second opinion is not sought, there is no legal penalty. In any case, it would not be difficult to find two doctors who hold the view that a woman's autonomy is paramount right through pregnancy, which the Attorney-General has said is the underlying principle of this Bill.

The grounds for doing a late-term abortion - "physical, psychological and social" - cover every reason, and this together with the loose rules mean that it is true to say that Bill effectively would allow unrestricted abortion to beyond 22 weeks.

The Queensland Bill is modelled on the Victorian decriminalisation law, which has resulted in a 39% increase in late-term abortions in Victoria over the 8 years since the law was changed in 2008, compared with the 9 years beforehand. Furthermore, almost half of late-term abortions in Victoria over recent years have been for "psycho-social" reasons, whereas the current Queensland law does not allow abortions for this reason.

The 22 week “limit” in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill would be just as ineffective as Victoria’s 24 week gestational “limit”, because of the loose criteria and poor governance around the second doctor approval process. Basically this is an abortion to birth Bill.

As for those who claim that no abortions would be done up to birth, in 2011 in Victoria, a healthy baby of a healthy mother was aborted for “psycho-social” reasons at over 37 weeks gestation – this is regarded as a full-term baby.

In that same year, 10 healthy viable babies of healthy mothers between 28 and 31 weeks gestation also were aborted for “psycho-social” reasons in Victoria.

 

FOOTNOTES

 

SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION WOULD BE LEGALISED

Part 2 Section 5 of the Bill States: “A medical practitioner may perform a termination on a woman who is not more than 22 weeks pregnant.”   Removal of any restrictions on abortion in the first 22 weeks of pregnancy, means abortion will be legal for sex selection.

Abortion on request is just that – no reason has to be given.

Abortion for sex selection is not legal under the current law, as interpreted by the courts, because this is not a situation where there is a serious danger to a woman’s physical or mental health.

One of the terrible consequences of legalising abortion on request to 22 weeks gestation is it would be legal to abort a female baby, just for being a girl. The sex of a child is usually discovered at the 16 to 20 week scan, but can also be detected from 10 weeks of pregnancy by a blood test.

Part 2 Section 6 of the Bill specifies that abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy is allowed if a doctor considers that it should be performed under a broad range of criteria including “the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances”, and a second doctor agrees.

The key point is that word “social” is ambiguous and would include in its scope sex-selective abortion, as sex selection is a social reason. This practice fits under no other description.

Although in practice sex-selective abortion almost always would be prior to 22 weeks gestation because the sex can be determined well before then, it could be very accessible past 22 weeks too because of the loose criteria for obtaining a late-term abortion and the lack of rigorous governance around the approval process.

Globally, sex-selective abortion and infanticide of female babies is at catastrophic levels, with United Nations estimates of more than 100 million girls missing around the world.

There is evidence that sex-selective abortions do occur in Australia, provided by a demographic study using ABS data from 2003 to 2013 showing “1,395 missing girls”, which was reported by SBS (1) and Daily Mail Australia (2) in 2015. Also, on 12 August 2018 The Sydney Morning Herald(3) and The Age carried a story titled “The ‘missing girls’ never born in Australia”.

It is worth noting that Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 is almost a mirror image of the Victorian abortion law passed in 2008 (please see the comparison table in the appendix), which allows sex-selective abortion and even compels doctors to refer these cases to an abortionist under threat of deregistration.

In 2013, Dr Mark Hobart (4), a Melbourne GP, faced disciplinary action for refusing to refer a couple with a 19 week unborn baby girl for a sex-selective abortion in Victoria.

Recent YouGov Galaxy polling (full results in appendix) show that only 8% of Queenslanders, including 5% of women, support sex-selective abortions, with 83% of voters opposed.

It’s very concerning that the AMA opposes sex-selective, but has failed to take a stand against this Bill.

However, abortion remaining in the Criminal Code would mean that sex-selective abortion would remain illegal in Queensland.

 

ABORTION COERCION ADMISSION

The Health Committee failed to recommend safeguards for women seeking a termination of pregnancy – such as independent counselling, informed consent conditions and a cooling-off period. These measures are standard in many European countries abortion laws are glaringly absent in these laws.

Dr Carol Portmann, a later-term abortion provider in Brisbane, admitted at the Health Committee inquiry’s Brisbane public hearing that she sometimes performed abortions on women who were being coerced to have an abortion. Please see link here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp5GFqg-d64

For media enquiries, please call Cherish Life executive director, Teeshan Johnson.

(1) https://www.sbs.com.au/news/could-gender-selective-abortions-be-happening-in-australia

“Could gender selection be happening in Australia?” SBS, 28 August 2015

(2) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3203013/Gender-selection-abortions-happening-Australia.html Daily mail - "how Australian parents have shamefully aborted more than 1,400 babies in the last decade - just because they were girls - 19 August 2015

3 https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/the-missing-girls-never-born-in-australia-20180811-p4zwxr.html The “missing girls’ never born in Australia, SMH 12 August 2018

(4) https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/doctor-risks-his-career-after-refusing-abortion-referral/news-story/a37067e66ed4f8d9a07ec9cb6fd28cf5 “Doctors risks his career after refusing abortion referral.” Herald Sun - 5 October 2013

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AMA slammed for not surveying members about the extreme abortion-to-birth Bill

The Australian Medical Association Qld (AMAQ) has been criticised by the pro-life organisation Cherish Life Queensland for endorsing the extreme late-term Termination of Pregnancy Bill, without surveying its membership beforehand.

Before the AMAQ’s management gave its support to the Termination of Pregnancy Bill, it failed to survey the membership’s view on this extreme legislation. There was no broad consultation, so AMAQ members were presented with a deadly fait accompli,” Ms Teeshan Johnson, executive director of Cherish Life Queensland, said.

Imposing this policy reportedly has caused waves within the AMAQ membership base, as many doctors do not agree with legalising abortion on request up to 22 weeks gestation, and then from 22 weeks until birth for criteria including socioeconomic reasons subject to a second doctor’s approval. There is also no legal penalty for not getting a second doctor’s approval.”

Many doctors also are unhappy that this extreme late-term abortion Bill fails to provide medical professionals with full conscientious objection protection. Doctors with a conscientious objection will be compelled to refer for abortion, and therefore be complicit in an abortion.”

Modern day health practice is based largely upon science. This bill ignores the weight of knowledge about prenatal development, including the ability to feel pain from an abortion, and sets an arbitrary limit of 22 weeks before which the preborn is denied any protection, and after that, it is negotiable. Thus we will have the tragic paradox that a hospital can be saving premature babies at great expense on one floor, and killing them on another.

The AMAQ in supporting this Bill are also putting pregnant women at risk. The Bill contains no safeguards for women against abortion coercion such as independent counselling nor informed consent conditions which are a standard duty of care in other procedures. The Bill ignores the body of evidence about abortion coercion and the physical and psychological risks of abortion to women.

This Bill is modelled on the 2008 Victorian law which has seen a doctor censured for not referring for a sex-selective abortion at 19 weeks gestation, and has led to a 39% increase in late-term abortions since the law was passed. The AMA is opposed to sex selection abortions, but has failed to understand that at least up until 22 weeks, no reason is required to be provided to secure a legal abortion.

Almost half of the late-term abortions in Victoria have been for ‘psycho-social’ reasons, with healthy babies from healthy mothers – including one full-term baby in 2011- and many viable babies who would have survived if birthed and provided with care. The question must be asked: Why is the AMAQ promoting this abortion-to-birth culture, even for late-term and full-term babies?”

For all these reasons, the AMAQ has seemingly abandoned the first principle of medicine, which is to do no harm, and has allowed itself to become a voice for the abortion lobby. It is also worth noting that AMAQ membership is 28% of Queensland doctors. This is not representative of the states’ doctors, and probably does even represent its own membership base on this matter.

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Qld Health Committee given proof of late-term abortion for ‘social’ reasons in Victoria as late as over 37 weeks

Cherish Life Queensland has called on the Queensland Parliament Health Committee to seriously consider the evidence it provided in its submission and at last week’s hearings on the Termination of Pregnancy Bill that late-term abortions of healthy babies of healthy mothers have occurred in Victoria as late as over 37 weeks gestation, which is regarded as full-term.

“It was very concerning that the committee seemed unaware of the evidence provided in our submission about the increase in late-term abortions in Victoria since the passing of the Abortion Law Reform Act in 2008 which decriminalised abortion in Victoria,” Cherish Life executive director Teeshan Johnson said.

“There was an average increase of 98 late-term abortions per year in Victoria since decriminalisation of abortion in late 2008, a 39% jump.1

“Since Jackie Trad’s Bill is almost a mirror image of the Victorian law, this is an extremely important warning for Queensland.

“That’s nearly two extra late-term babies being killed each week. Before decriminalisation there were almost five late-term abortions per week in Victoria, and since decriminalisation there have been about seven late-term abortions per week on average.

“Almost half of late-term abortions performed in recent years in Victoria have been performed for reasons other than foetal abnormality or health of the woman or the child. In other words, healthy babies of healthy mothers are aborted legally under the Victorian Abortion Reform Act, on which the Queensland Termination of Pregnancy Bill is modelled.

“In 2011 in Victoria, a healthy baby of a healthy mother was aborted for ‘psycho-social’ reasons at over 37 weeks' gestation2 – this is regarded as a full-term baby.

“In that same year, 10 healthy viable babies of healthy mothers between 28 and 31 weeks gestation also were aborted for ‘psycho-social’ reasons in Victoria.”

Ms Johnson said the committee just seemed to be going through the motions in reviewing Deputy-Premier Jackie Trad’s Bill, with a pre-determined decision that the majority is working towards.

“There has been a bias towards supporters of the Bill who were favoured in time and representation, with just 40% of the total time across the three public hearings given to pro-life witnesses, and 60% to pro-abortion or pro-choice witnesses.

“This bias was even more pronounced in the selection of expert witnesses, with 10 pro-abortion doctors up against just two pro-life doctors, one invited pro-life obstetrician not being allowed to speak, and six lawyers supporting the Bill compared with just two lawyers who opposed certain aspects. The only pregnancy counselling service called to give evidence was one which promotes abortion.

“It seems the majority of committee members were more interested in exploring our ideological positioning, in what felt like a bid to polarise or discount our evidence, than seriously considering our submission on why the Termination of Pregnancy Bill should not be passed, which included proof of an increase of almost 40% in late-term abortions following decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria 10 years ago.

“The tight time frame will mean the Health Committee will not be able to properly consider the 6,200 public submissions it has received before it is due to report to Parliament on 5 October.

“The fact that this is more than twice the number of submissions for the two inquiries into the Pyne abortion Bills of 2016 shows the level of community concern about Jackie Trad’s extreme abortion Bill. As 85% of submissions to the Pyne Bill inquiries were opposed, it is a safe assumption that the vast majority of the submissions received this time also would be against Ms Trad’s brutal Bill.”

 

APPENDIX 1

Gestational ranges of perinatal deaths (VICTORIA) from 2009-2015 for maternal psycho-social indications only - non-medical reasons, healthy babies to healthy mothers


Year

 

20-27 weeks


28-31 weeks

 

32-36 weeks

 

37+ weeks


2015

 

107


0

 

0

 

0


2014

 

146


0

 

1

 

0


2013

 

179


0

 

0

 

0


2012

 

132


0

 

0

 

0


2011

 

172


10

 

0

 

1


2010

 

184


7

 

0

 

0


2009

 

203


11

 

0

 

0

 

From Victorian Maternal, Perinatal, Child and Adolescent Mortality statistics, The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity

 

See also Victorian Late-Term Abortions table 2000-2016

 

APPENDIX 2

 

Comparison Table


Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018


Pyne Bills 2016 - Abortion Law Reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016 & Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016 – moved by Independent MP Mr Rob Pyne in 2016 and withdrawn in February 2017 because it was evident that they would have been defeated if put to a vote in the Queensland Parliament


Victorian abortion law: Abortion Law Reform Act 2008


Abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks gestation


Abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks gestation


Abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks gestation


Sex-selective abortion legal


Sex-selective abortion legal


Sex-selective abortion legal


Abortion from 22 weeks until birth, for a wide range of loose criteria including “social” reasons. Two doctors give the approval.


The first doctor can be the abortionist and the second doctor (who can also be an abortionist) doesn’t have to see the woman or even read her file. No legal penalties on doctors if rules not followed.


Abortion from 24 weeks until birth, if there is a “risk… to the physical or mental health of the woman”. Two doctors give the approval. The first doctor can be the abortionist and the second doctor (who can also be an abortionist) doesn’t have to see the woman or even read her file. No legal penalties on doctors if rules not followed.


Abortion from 24 weeks until birth, for a wide range of loose criteria including “social” reasons. Two doctors give the approval. The first doctor can be the abortionist and the second doctor (who can also be an abortionist) doesn’t have to see the woman or even read her file. No legal penalties on doctors if rules not followed.


Doctors with conscientious objection must refer for abortion, or to another doctor who will help the woman with her abortion request, and therefore be complicit in the outcome of an abortion.


Full conscientious objection provision for doctors and nurses.


Doctors with conscientious objection must refer for abortion, or to another doctor who will help the woman with her abortion request, and therefore be complicit in the outcome of an abortion.


Abortions to be performed at taxpayer-funded public hospitals and therefore free.


Abortions to be performed at taxpayer-funded public hospitals and therefore free.


Abortions to be performed at taxpayer-funded public hospitals and therefore free.


No protections for women considering an abortion – no independent counselling, informed consent conditions or cooling-off periods.


No protections for women considering an abortion – no independent counselling, informed consent conditions or cooling-off periods.


No protections for women considering an abortion – no independent counselling, informed consent conditions or cooling-off periods


150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.


50 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.


150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.

 

 

Inquiries: Contact Cherish Life Qld executive director Teeshan Johnson 

 

2� Table 6.21b, Page 162, 2010/2011 Victorian Maternal, Perinatal, Child and Adolescent Mortality statistics, The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity http://realchoices.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/VicPNData2010_11.pdf

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Kate Jones rewrites history in failed attempt to wedge LNP on abortion

The claim by Queensland Labor Cabinet Minister Kate Jones in an opinion piece in The Courier-Mail today that in 1980 the Liberal Minister for Health, Sir William Knox, introduced a bill to decriminalise abortion is completely untrue.

The opposite is the case.

The fact is that the Pregnancy Termination Control Bill introduced by Sir William in 1980 would have banned private abortion clinics in Queensland and changed the statute law in the Criminal Code so that the phrase “for the preservation of the mother’s life” could not be misinterpreted by the courts, as had already occurred in Victoria and New South Wales.

Originally a government Bill, this private member’s Bill by Sir William Knox would have allowed abortion only where the mother’s physical life was at risk and in cases of rape and incest.

This was a pro-life Bill, not a Bill to decriminalise abortion, as Ms Jones wrongly claims.

It was supported at the time by Cherish Life Queensland (then known as Right to Life Queensland).

Unfortunately, it was defeated in the Queensland Parliament by 40 votes to 35, in May 1980.

Now, instead of one private abortion clinic in Queensland, there are 23, and abortion on request is very accessible under the current interpretation of the law, with an estimated 14,000 terminations a year.

Ms Jones has besmirched the good name and reputation of the late Sir William Knox by claiming he was an advocate of open slather abortion, when he was in fact a defender of the right to life of every human being from conception until natural death.

This is in stark contrast to those who are pushing  for Jackie Trad’s extreme, brutal, anti-woman and unnecessary Bill, which will allow abortion to birth, effectively for any reason.

This late-term abortion Bill, which also will legalise sex-selective abortion, is strongly opposed by Queenslanders. A YouGov Galaxy poll of 1,000 Queensland voters last month found that only 3% of Queensland women support abortion after 23 weeks of pregnancy and only 5% of women support sex-selective abortion.

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Federal Cabinet Minister Senator Matt Canavan to speak at March for Life Brisbane, this afternoon

The Minister for Resources and Northern Australian Senator Matt Canavan will join Senator Amanda Stoker in encouraging the marchers at the March for Life today.

Medical experts will be amongst other speakers.

Marchers will be meeting at Queens Gardens at 2pm before marching to Parliament House for a rally, which will start around 2:30pm.

The Bill if passed is effective abortion to birth legislation - only 6% of Queenslanders agree with abortion to birth. It would legalise sex-selective abortion, and only 8% of Queenslanders agree with sex-selection abortion. The Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 is as brutal and extreme as it is unpopular.  The full results of the August 2018 polling, including the raw data, can be found here.

ENDS

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Queenslanders Attitudes on Abortion

Despite the Queensland Labor Government having passed some of the most extreme abortion laws in the country, Queenslanders are far more pro-life than you think!

According to YouGov/Galaxy polling conducted in August 2018 - 60% of Queenslanders oppose abortions past 13 weeks and 75% agree that abortion harms women's health.

Cherish Life proudly opposes these radical abortion laws which are out of step with the people of Queensland and we look forward to helping elect solidly pro-life candidates in the 2020 state election.

View the rest of Queenslanders attitudes towards abortion here

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Why sex-selective abortion would be legal in Qld if the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 is passed

If the Trad-Labor Bill is passed, abortion would be on request, no questions asked, up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Part 2 Section 5 of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 states: “A medical practitioner may perform a termination on a woman who is not more than 22 weeks pregnant.”  

Removal of any restrictions on abortion in the first 22 weeks of pregnancy, means abortion will be legal for sex selection.

Abortion on request is just that – no reason has to be given.

Abortion for sex selection is not legal under the current law, as interpreted by the courts, because this is not a situation where there is a serious danger to a woman’s physical or mental health.

One of the terrible consequences of legalising abortion on request to 22 weeks gestation is it would be legal to abort a female baby, just for being a girl.

The sex of a child is usually discovered at the 16 to 20 week scan, but can also be detected from 10 weeks of pregnancy by a blood test.

Part 2 Section 6 of the Bill specifies that abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy is allowed if a doctor considers that it should be performed under a broad range of criteria including “the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances”, and a second doctor agrees.

The key point is that word “social” is ambiguous and would include in its scope sex-selective abortion, as sex selection is a social reason. This practice fits under no other description.

Although in practice sex-selective abortion almost always would be prior to 22 weeks gestation because the sex can be determined well before then, it could be very accessible past 22 weeks too because of the loose criteria for obtaining a late-term abortion and the lack of rigorous governance around the approval process.

The provision for a second doctor’s approval under Section 6 is questionable, as the second doctor is not required to see the woman or her file. The second approval can be obtained by a phone call or email. The first doctor can be an abortionist and the second doctor can also be an abortionist.  

And if the first doctor does not bother to get a second opinion, the Bill has no legal penalty. A law without a penalty is no law at all.

Globally, sex-selective abortion and infanticide of female babies is at catastrophic levels, with UN estimates of more than 100 million girls missing around the world.

There is evidence that sex-selective abortions do occur in Australia, provided by a demographic study using ABS data from 2003 to 2013 showing “1,395 missing girls”, which was reported by SBS and Daily Mail Australia in 2015. Also, on 12 August 2018 The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age carried a story titled “The ‘missing girls’ never born in Australia”.

It is worth noting that Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 is almost a mirror image of the Victorian abortion law passed in 2008 (see comparison on the next page), which allows sex-selective abortion and even compels doctors to refer these cases to an abortionist under threat of deregistration.

In 2013, Dr Mark Hobart, a Melbourne GP, faced disciplinary action for refusing to refer a couple with a 19 week unborn baby girl for a sex-selective abortion in Victoria.

Those who state that sex-selective abortion would not be legal in Queensland under the Trad-Labor abortion Bill are either naïve or untruthful.

Recent YouGov Galaxy polling shows that only 8% of Queenslanders, including 5% of women, support sex-selective abortions, with 83% of voters opposed.

Abortion is already very accessible in Queensland under the current law with an estimated 14,000 terminations each year provided by 23 clinics, so there is no need to take abortion out of the Criminal Code.

However, abortion remaining in the Criminal Code will mean that sex-selective abortion does remain illegal in Queensland.

 

LABOR’S LATE-TERM ABORTION BILL: WORSE THAN THE PYNE BILLS

COMPARISON TABLE: Labor’s late-term abortion Bill, Pyne Bills, Victoria’s abortion laws

Queensland Labor Government’s: Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018

Pyne Bills 2016 - Abortion Law Reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016   & Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016 – moved by Independent MP Mr Rob Pyne in 2016 and withdrawn in February 2017 because it was evident that they would have been defeated if put to a vote in the Queensland Parliament

Victorian abortion law: Victoria’s Abortion Law Reform Act 2008

Abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks gestation

Abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks gestation

Abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks gestation

Sex-selective abortion legal

Sex-selective abortion legal

Sex-selective abortion legal

Abortion from 22 weeks until birth, for a wide range of loose criteria including “social” reasons. Two doctors give the approval. The first doctor can be the abortionist and the second doctor (who can also be an abortionist) doesn’t have to see the woman or even read her file. No legal penalties on doctors if rules not followed.

Abortion from 24 weeks until birth, if there is a “risk… to the physical or mental health of the woman”.  Two doctors give the approval. The first doctor can be the abortionist and the second doctor (who can also be an abortionist) doesn’t have to see the woman or even read her file. No legal penalties on doctors if rules not followed.

Abortion from 24 weeks until birth, for a wide range of loose criteria including “social” reasons. Two doctors give the approval. The first doctor can be the abortionist and the second doctor (who can also be an abortionist) doesn’t have to see the woman or even read her file. No legal penalties on doctors if rules not followed.

Doctors with conscientious objection must refer for abortion, or to another doctor who will help the woman with her abortion request, and therefore be complicit in the outcome of an abortion.

Full conscientious objection provision for doctors and nurses.

Doctors with conscientious objection must refer for abortion, or to another doctor who will help the woman with her abortion request, and therefore be complicit in the outcome of an abortion.

Abortions to be performed at taxpayer-funded public hospitals and therefore free.

Abortions to be performed at taxpayer-funded public hospitals and therefore free.

Abortions to be performed at taxpayer-funded public hospitals and therefore free.

No protections for women considering an abortion – no independent counselling, informed consent conditions or cooling-off periods.

No protections for women considering an abortion – no independent counselling, informed consent conditions or cooling-off periods.

No protections for women considering an abortion – no independent counselling, informed consent conditions or cooling-off periods

150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.

50 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.

150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics.

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Termination of Pregnancy Bill ‘brutal, Unnecessary and Rejected by Public’

The pro-life lobby has slammed the Labor Government’s Termination of Pregnancy Bill which was tabled in the Queensland Parliament today as being brutal, extreme, worse than the Pyne Bills and almost a mirror image of Victoria’s abortion law - one of the most brutal in the Western world.

Executive director of Cherish Life Queensland, Ms Teeshan Johnson, said: “These cruel abortion-to-birth laws are worse than the Pyne Bills and almost a mirror image of the Victorian abortion law which is one of the worst in the Western world.

“The Labor Government  in pushing to legalise late-term abortion  has not considered voters’ opinions, particularly women. Recent YouGov Galaxy polling shows that only 6% of Queenslanders agree with late-term abortion, and only 3% of women.

“The Bill if passed would also legalise sex-selective abortion, an obscene form of discrimination against females which is already happening in Victoria. The Bill is as discriminatory against females as it is brutal against the unborn.

“Those in the Labor Party advocating this are in the tiny minority of Queenslanders who agree with late-term abortion and sex-selective abortion.

“The Bill is unnecessary as abortion is already very accessible in Queensland, with 14,000 terminations a year under the current law.”

Highlights of Galaxy poll results below

Voters strongly oppose late-term abortion – When asked, Up to what stage of pregnancy would you allow abortion, only 6% of Queenslanders said after 23 weeks. Just 3% of Queensland women support abortion up to birth, compared with 10% of men. When asked specifically whether they supported the provision in the Trad Labor Bill to legalise abortion from 22 weeks to birth, under a number of criteria including “social circumstances”, 62% said No. This included 70% of women and 54% of men. Just 22% of Queensland voters support this provision in the Bill.

Voters overwhelmingly reject sex-selective abortions – 83% of voters oppose sex- selective abortions. Only 8% support this practice, in which unborn babies are killed for the “crime” of being a girl. Just 5% of women support this, compared with 11% of men. This question is relevant because sex-selective abortions will be legalised under the Trad Labor Bill as abortion on request for any reason before 22 weeks means exactly that, as does abortion for “social” reasons past 22 weeks.  

Voters will change their vote on this issue – supporting the Bill would be more likely to cost votes (39%) than be a vote winner (15%). 43% of females say they would be less likely to vote for a MP who supported the Bill, compared with 35% of males. This indicates a potential average swing of 13% against pro-abortion MPs.

The online poll of 1,000 Queensland voters, conducted from 6 to 8 August by independent market research firm YouGov Galaxy for Cherish Life Queensland and the Australian Family Association, asked 21 questions to a random sample on proposed changes to abortion laws.

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Women Lead The Charge As New Polling Shows Qld Voters Reject The Proposed Trad Labor Extreme Abortion Laws

On the eve of the Jackie Trad Labor extreme abortion laws being tabled in Parliament tomorrow [Tuesday, 21 August], a new independent opinion poll shows a majority of Queensland voters, particularly women, are opposed to the proposed laws.

Executive director of Cherish Life Queensland, Ms Teeshan Johnson, said the results sent a clear, loud, and determined message to politicians from the voters – “we do not support this”.

“This is an emphatic rejection of the Jackie Trad extreme abortion laws – the results speak for themselves.” Analysis showed the following…

Voters do not want this change - 56% of Queensland voters either believe the law should stay the same or be stricter, compared with 26% who think it should less restrictive.

Voters strongly oppose late-term abortion – When asked, Up to what stage of pregnancy would you allow abortion, only 6% of Queenslanders said after 23 weeks. Just 3% of Queensland women support abortion up to birth, compared with 10% of men. When asked specifically whether they supported the provision in the Trad Labor Bill to legalise abortion from 22 weeks to birth, under a number of criteria including “social circumstances”, 62% said No. This included 70% of women and 54% of men. Just 22% of Queensland voters support this provision in the Bill.

Voters overwhelmingly reject sex-selective abortions – 83% of voters oppose sex- selective abortions. Only 8% support this practice, in which unborn babies are killed for the “crime” of being a girl. Just 5% of women support this, compared with 11% of men. This question is relevant because sex-selective abortions will be legalised under the Trad Labor Bill as abortion on request for any reason before 22 weeks means exactly that, as does abortion for “social” reasons past 22 weeks.

Voters will change their vote on this issue – supporting the Bill would be more likely to cost votes (39%) than be a vote winner (15%). 43% of females say they would be less likely to vote for a MP who supported the Bill, compared with 14% of women who would be more likely to do so. Overall, this indicates a potential average swing of 13% against pro-abortion MPs.

“The results are in, and they are very clear,” said Ms Johnson. “MPs should reject this extreme law proposed by Jackie Trad and Labor.”

This opinion poll of 1,000 Queensland voters, conducted from 6 to 8 August by independent market research firm YouGov Galaxy for Cherish Life Queensland and the Australian Family Association, asked 21 questions to a representative sample on proposed changes to abortion laws.

We are pleased to share with you the full results of the most comprehensive survey on abortion ever done in Queensland, which includes the entire questionnaire and all tables. This research does not skim the surface like other polls do, but drills down to find out what Queenslanders really think about abortion.

Cherish Life executive director Teeshan Johnson will be available for DOORSTOP INTERVIEWS TODAY, Monday 20 August 2018, between 12.30 pm and 1 pm, or by arrangement, outside the front doors of the Parliamentary Annexe, Alice St, Brisbane.

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