For release: October 11, 2010

ACL applauds Bligh for keeping abortion election promise

The Australian Christian Lobby today applauded the Bligh Government for upholding its election commitment not to decriminalise abortion in the face of pressure from abortion activists.

“Queenslanders are not seeking radical Victorian-style open slather abortion laws which allow abortion for any reason up to birth, which is what the abortion activists seem to be pushing,” ACL’s spokesperson on women’s issues Michelle Pearse said.

Ms Pearse said it was disappointing that activists were trying to use the tragic Cairns case, where an abortion was allegedly self-administered using illegally imported drugs, as a lever for abortion on demand.

“Premier Anna Bligh has shown courage in the face of activists’ pressure in keeping her election commitment,” Ms Pearse said.

“Victoria’s abortion law offers no protection to women coerced into abortion and allows late term abortion for no medically justified reason.”

Ms Pearse said Cairns obstetrician Caroline de Costa’s claims that the law needed to be changed because doctors were afraid to prescribe the abortion drug RU 486 did not hold up to scrutiny.

Newly released figures from the Therapeutic Good Administration show that 323 RU486 abortions occurred in Queensland in the second half of last year.

“It is obvious that most doctors do not share Dr de Costa’s concerns. Clearly there is no case for further liberalisation of abortion laws in Queensland,” Ms Pearse said.

“Activists should stop using the tragic Cairns case for their real agenda which is open slather abortion on demand, including late term abortion up to birth.”

ACL remains concerned that under existing Queensland abortion laws late term abortion continues unabated and that from 2003-2007, 55 babies survived the procedure only to be left to die.

Media Contact: Michelle Pearse on 0400 869 107