On 16 July 2018, the Queensland Cabinet unsurprisingly decided to accept the recommendations of the hand-picked Queensland Law Reform Commission and adopt its Draft Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018.  A parliamentary vote is scheduled for the parliamentary sitting week of 16 October.  The main points of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 are:

Abortion on demand up to 22 weeks for any reason.

Abortion past 22 weeks’ gestation until birth, under a wide range of criteria including “social” reasons.  Although a second doctor’s consent is required, the second doctor will not even have to see the woman, or look at her file, and there is no legal penalty if the abortion is performed without a second doctor’s approval.

Sex-selection abortion would be legal, so unborn female babies would be killed for the “crime” of being a girl.

There are no safeguards for women seeking an abortion, such as independent counselling, informed consent conditions and cooling-off periods.

No effective conscientious objection for doctors.  Doctors with conscientious objections would have to refer a woman seeking an abortion to another doctor who will be able to facilitate her request, thus making the referring doctor complicit in the outcome.

Any communication against abortion within 150 metres of abortion clinics would be criminalised, including peaceful “sidewalk” counselling, silent prayer, or even a mother asking her daughter not to have an abortion, or a boyfriend offering support and trying to persuade his partner to continue with the pregnancy.

Removing all provisions about abortion from the Criminal Code (other than an unqualified person performing the procedure).

One of the many consequences of this new law would be that abortions would be performed in taxpayer-funded public hospitals, and therefore would be free.  This inevitably would lead to an increase in the number of abortions and therefore the number of women harmed.

Under the current law, 14,000 abortions are performed in Queensland every year.  This is the equivalent of two classrooms of children being destroyed in Queensland every working day.  Private clinics already can get a licence to perform abortions up to 20 weeks’ gestation, and women don’t even need a doctor’s referral to book an abortion.  About 2% of abortions are performed in public hospitals, both before and after 20 weeks for foetal abnormalities and, in rare cases, where the pregnancy causes a serious danger to a woman’s health.  No woman has ever been convicted for having an abortion under the current law.  Most abortions attract a Medicare rebate.

Source: Cherish Life

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