Call for Victorian inquiry into deaths of babies born alive after  failed abortions

In Victoria, the DLP Member of the Upper House, Peter Kavanagh, has courageously challenged the status quo on abortion by calling upon a Parliamentary committee to inquire into the post-natal deaths of babies born alive in Victoria after failed abortions.

In Parliament recently Mr Kavanagh (pictured) called upon “the Family and Community Development Committee to inquire into, consider and report on the post-natal deaths of babies born alive in Victoria after failed abortions, with particular reference to the 2007 Annual Report of the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity”.

Mr Kavanagh noted that on 20 May 2010 the Herald Sun reported on the recently released 2007 annual report of the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity which showed that 54 out of 181 late term foetuses who were aborted for “abnormalities” (at around 26 to 28 weeks) survived late term abortions but all of them in the period studied died “post-natally”.

He further noted that babies born after 26 to 28 weeks of gestation have a very high chance of survival if given even minimal care, and that the death of every one of these babies in the period studied therefore suggests that they were neglected to death, if not deliberately killed.

Recent media reports suggest that the number of late-term abortions in Victoria have sky-rocketed since abortion was decriminalised in the State. ACL is concerned about how many more babies are being born alive after botched abortions and left to die – and denied even basic care.

You may recall that during the 2008 abortion debate in Victoria, Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor, spoke at Queens Hall in Parliament House in an event organised by the Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee and supported by the ACL. She told how she was saved from certain death by a nurse who, in the absence of the doctor, called for an ambulance to revive her after she arrived alive after a botched abortion in a US abortion clinic.

It is galling to discover in 2010, through a government report, that in 2007 – even before the new ‘open-slather’ abortion laws were passed - 54 babies in Victoria survived late term abortions but were not given any chance at life. We commend Mr Kavanagh for pursuing this issue.