2) Abortion

The Law Reform Commission (LRC) is currently considering abortion laws in Queensland and is expected to report in the second half of 2018. 

Answer

a) Does your party propose to change current abortion laws in Queensland and, if so, how? Could you please outline your party’s policy on abortion?

b) Will you adhere to this policy for the entire 56th parliament?

c) Will your party commit to voting against the introduction of legislation that reduces protections for the unborn within the next parliament?

d)Will your party commit to an inquiry into why babies that are currently born alive are not given medical assistance to stay alive?

Party Answer
LNP

Earlier this year, the Queensland Parliament was due to debate two abortion bills that were introduced by the Member for Cairns Rob Pyne and were being strongly pushed by Labor’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.

The LNP made a public commitment to oppose both of these Bills after allowing Members a conscience vote.

The bills were then withdrawn from the Queensland Parliament and referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for further advice and analysis.

The first Bill left the entire area of abortion unregulated and this was clearly untenable.

The second Bill attempted to correct the failures of the first Bill but fell short. It created further risk and uncertainty as shown in the Parliamentary Committee report.

In fact, the second Bill sought to make it legal for a woman to secure her own abortion without medical supervision – including by the use if illicitly obtained drugs.

The second Bill also created additional legal uncertainty and an ongoing legislative conflict between the Criminal Code and the Health Act.

It is the long-held position of the LNP that the current abortion laws are sufficient and do not need to be changed.

One Nation Still awaiting response.
Queensland Labor

Your members would be aware of the history of the two Bills by the member for Cairns, Mr Rob Pyne MP, and the subsequent withdrawal of those Bills. The Palaszczuk Government recognised that those Bills did not give appropriate resolution to a range of issues related to law reform in this area, and subsequently referred the issue to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC).

The QLRC is an independent statutory body that makes recommendations to government on areas of law which are the subject of specific inquiries.

The QLRC was asked to have regard to a number of matters in preparing its report to government, including:

a)    Existing practices and services in Queensland concerning termination of pregnancy including those provided by medical practitioners, counsellors and support services

b)    Existing legal principles in relation to termination practices in Queensland

c)    The Queensland Government’s commitment to modernise and clarify the law in relation to termination of pregnancy

d)    The consultation with stakeholders that occurred during the Parliamentary Committee’s consideration of the first and second Bills

e)    The views of experienced clinical practitioners

f)      The views of the Queensland community

g)    Legislative and regulatory arrangements in other Australian and international jurisdictions.

The Premier has made a commitment that in the next term of government, Labor will bring forward a Bill to Parliament based on the recommendations of the QLRC Report. The QLRC is required to report of the Attorney-General by 30 June 2018.

As you can see from the Terms of Reference, regard will be had by the QLRC to the consultation with stakeholders that occurred during the Parliamentary Committee’s consideration of the first and second Bills, and the views of the Queensland community, when preparing its report to Government.

Labor Party Members of Parliament will be free to exercise a conscience vote when voting on the Bill. I am limited in any further information I might be able to provide until the QLRC process is concluded. 

The Greens QLD

Still awaiting response

From Greens party platform - 

Greens would Enact legislation that makes termination of pregnancy through appropriate surgical or pharmaceutical procedures a safe and legal choice for women, including by:

a) Repealing all provisions of the Queensland Criminal Code and other sanctions regarding termination from Queensland legislation, including sections 224, 225 and 226 of the Queensland Criminal Code 1899.

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