In a surprising move, the Queensland Parliament today came a step closer towards introducing the world’s most dangerous and radical abortion legislation.
Australian Christian Lobby Queensland Director, Wendy Francis, said the Parliament made a technical, procedural vote that combined two separate pieces of abortion legislation into one, providing a massive threat to the unborn and to women’s health.
“If passed, this extreme abortion bill from Cairns Independent MP Rob Pyne will remove all safeguards currently in place to protect women from coercion and dangerous practices,” Ms Francis said.
Ms Francis said Queenslanders expected both major parties to stick to their pre-election commitment not to tinker with abortion laws during this term of government.
“Out of principle the major parties should reject this bill because it was against their election commitment and it is being processed through parliament in a covert manner,” Ms Francis said.
“The major parties should be under no obligation to support this bill which ignores community concerns and has been rejected by a parliamentary committee.
“Queenslanders are sick of politicians not keeping promises, particularly on such an important issue where the welfare of women and babies is a stake.
“Queenslanders, who are overwhelming opposed to late term abortions and recognise that abortion is harmful for women will feel extremely let down if the major parties allow this bill to be given time to be debated,” Ms Francis said.
“It would be seen by Queenslanders as incredibly arrogant for the Parliament to rush through legislation which, according to the advice it has received, has significant flaws and places women with unwanted pregnancies in danger."
Mr Pyne’s bill allows women to perform abortions on themselves, without any support or counselling.
The bill removes safeguards that ensure abortion is genuinely the woman’s choice and not the result of coercion.
It allows for sex-selective abortions and will see viable babies being aborted late in a pregnancy.
“Voters have rejected Mr Pyne’s abortion-to-birth bills and have expressed deep concern with abortion,” Ms Francis said.
A Galaxy Poll, conducted in May, showed 84 per cent of Queenslanders believed abortion was harmful for women with the percentage rising to 90 per cent among younger voters aged 18-34 years.
Parliamentary Committee inquiries into Mr Pyne’s two abortion bills have attracted 2,700 public submissions, more than 80 per cent opposed to liberalising abortion laws.
Meanwhile, almost 36,000 people have signed two petitions against the bills.
“It is clear there is no appetite in Queensland for removing safeguards that exist in current abortion laws.” Ms Francis said.
“The Queensland Government would be better placed to consider ways to provide additional support to women who are experiencing unwanted pregnancies.
“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.
“Women deserve to be given all information, about all options, as well as appropriate support.
“Despite extensive input from professionals, Mr Pyne, in his bills, 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.”