Queenslanders would be looking to the parliament to reject a radical abortion bill after it failed to garner the support of a parliamentary committee charged with investigating its merits, according to Australian Christian Lobby Queensland Director Wendy Francis.
Ms Francis called on both major parties to stick by their election commitment not to change current abortion laws in the face of growing community opposition to the proposed bill.
"This latest bill contained no restrictions on the dismemberment of unborn babies, no requirement to administer pain relief while late term babies are being killed, no gestational limits and no restrictions on screening for girls or disabled babies to be aborted,” Ms Francis said.
"This really is archaic law and it should be rejected by all Parliamentarians.
“In their submission, Pro Choice Queensland even went further, saying they believe that no gestational limits should be imposed in the legislation.”
Tabling their report this afternoon, the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee took on board evidence from Lindy Willmott and Ben White, joint directors of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology, noting the bad crafting of the bill and advising that the legislation was not written to a consistent standard or with the care that other legislation is written.
This is a second attempt by Independent Cairns MP Rob Pyne to liberalise abortion laws after his first bill last year also failed to gain support from the parliamentary committee.
Ms Francis said in his second bill, Mr Pyne had failed to address community and parliamentary concerns with the first bill.
“Despite extensive input from professionals, Mr Pyne, in his new bill, has ignored calls for counselling, cooling off periods, access to ultrasound technology to view the unborn baby and respect for the rights of doctors and nurses to be free to counsel patients with all options that are available to them,” Ms Francis said.
“Women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy deserve so much more than what Mr Pyne would want us to believe is an easy fix. It’s not.”
Ms Francis said Queenslanders were overwhelmingly against tampering with abortion laws with 2,700 submissions received by the inquiry with more than 80 per cent of submissions opposed to the bill.
In addition, a combined 55,000 people signed two petitions against the bills while around 4,000 marched on Saturday through Brisbane’s streets calling for the bills to be rejected.
“It is clear that the community wants both major parties to stick to their election commitment not to change existing abortion laws,” Ms Francis said.