Last night in Queensland’s Parliament House, a capacity crowd of around 200 heard from an expert panel of medical doctors, midwife, lawyers and counsellors discussing the health and human rights considerations of the Queensland abortion bill which is currently before our parliamentarians. This bill allows abortion to birth, for any reason, without conscientious objection for medical or other hospital staff. If legislated, Queensland would have the worst abortion laws in the world.

During the night we heard harrowing stories from nurses, midwives, lawyers, academics and doctors, of aborted babies gasping for breath, of mental anguish and of basic human rights being denied the most vulnerable.

Many in the audience were surprised to hear of the strict regulations regarding abortion in European nations such as Germany, Belgium and France - progressive countries that only permit abortion up to 12 weeks and only on medically necessary grounds. We heard of these countries requiring waiting periods and mandatory counselling for the women to make sure they are given the best possible care and options.

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching stories of all came from the young women who had experienced abortion first hand. Through tears they told their stories of loss. No-one in the audience was untouched.

We heard from nurses and doctors of their desire to be life-givers and not the purveyors of death.

The United Nations Human Rights Charter was also discussed. They declare that the death penalty “shall not be imposed on pregnant women”. This is because in doing so they would be taking an innocent life.

With the ability now to see inside the womb, to operate on babies whilst in-utero, how can we possibly close our eyes to the fact that abortion is doing just that – the taking of an innocent life.

Last night’s meeting was an encouraging sign that many are prepared to take their stand at the barricade for life.