A Queensland Parliamentary Committee is currently considering Rob Pyne’s second attempt at an abortion bill after the first received considerable rejection by the community. It is expected to deliver its report in February 2017.
On 23 September 2016, ACL provided a submission to the committee considering the bill.
The Queensland government has an indisputable duty to protect the interests of women facing unplanned pregnancies, and to also protect their babies. These interests are sometimes seen as conflicting: the woman’s right to reproductive choice is often set in opposition to the baby’s right to life. The debate is highly contentious and emotionally charged. Even if approached with the best will, unlimited resources and the most complete information, any legislative outcomes are unlikely to be entirely satisfactory for all parties involved in all cases.
Precisely because the potential for tragic consequences and long-term suffering for the women, babies and families effected by public policy in this area is so great, it deserves to be approached with great sensitivity and rigorous logic.
The legislation currently being proposed by Mr Pyne, the Independent MP for Cairns, demonstrates neither of these qualities. ACL believes it is profoundly flawed in its foundational premises and exposes pregnant women and their unborn babies to unacceptable risk.
ACL argued that the legislation should not be passed.