The killing of unborn children is on the rise in Australia, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA). Researchers compared deaths from surgical and “medical” abortions from 2014-2015 with the years 2017-2018 and found they sky-rocketed by more than 10,000 babies. Surgical abortions were slightly down. However, the overall increase in killings was driven by the availability of the baby poison pills mifepristone and misoprostol. These drugs, commonly known as RU-486, were added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2013, dramatically reducing the cost. Administered up until the ninth week of pregnancy, RU-486 starves the unborn baby to death by blocking his or her supply of progesterone, causing detachment from the mother’s uterus.

The research conducted by Louise Keogh, Lyle Gurrin and Patricia Moore was approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee. The research found that in 2014-15 there were 78,734 unborn babies killed by abortion. By 2017-18, the figure had jumped to 88,290. In 2014-15, 75,514 of unborn babies killed were via surgical abortions while just 3220 were by poisoning. While the overall killing increased by 10,000 by 2017-18, surgical abortions had dropped to 67,546 with poisonings jumping dramatically to 20,741. Sadly the research does not take into account the impact on mothers, an area of study hardly touched since the release of Melinda Tankard Reist’s ground-breaking book Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief After Abortion.

The authors of the MJA article write: “about 5% of medical abortions are incomplete or complicated; in these cases, women may be admitted to hospital for surgical abortions”. “Incomplete” is a euphemism for the unborn baby survived poisoning and had to be finished off in hospital. Common side-effects of RU-486 for mothers are bleeding, pain and cramping. The study covers the period immediately before Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia passed their controversial abortion-to-birth laws. It will be interesting to see what impact these laws have on unborn baby killings. It is an iron law of public policy that what politicians encourage, society gets more of. Time will tell in the case of abortion liberalisation.

Source: Lyle Shelton Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Christian Democratic Party

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