Despite public opposition to radical abortion-to-birth laws last year, a new push is on to allow healthy babies with healthy mothers to be killed right up to birth.

The Palaszczuk Government just does not seem to want to take ‘no’ for an answer.

So your voice is needed yet again to speak up for the voiceless by the February 13 deadline.

The Queensland Law Reform Commission, on behalf of the Palaszczuk Government, is conducting an inquiry into liberalizing abortion law and is asking you for your views. Let’s not be silent.

It was just a year ago that so many of you helped defeat the Rob Pyne Bill, forcing the Government to back down.

At that time we said:

  • We said we do NOT want abortion-to-birth laws. Queenslanders were shocked to learn from statistics tabled in parliament that in one year (the latest statistics) 27babies survived late-term abortions in Queensland hospitals but were denied life-saving care and died. abc.net.au/news/2016-06-15/babies-of-late-terminations-left.../7512618
  • Healthy babies and healthy mothers do not need abortion – they need support
  • Abortion is already readily available in Queensland. There is no need for more relaxing of our laws. Prochoice Queensland estimate that Queensland has between 10,000 and 14,000 abortions each year. This is not enough for them. https://prochoiceqld.org.au/resources/facts-abortion-rates/

Bowing to enormous public pressure, the government withdrew the proposed bill, and instead, referred the abortion laws to the Law Reform Commission so it could get a second bite at the cherry.

This commission’s report is due back by 30 June, 2018.

We need to speak up now.

The Terms of Reference for the inquiry can be found here - www.qlrc.qld.gov.au/current-reviews  The deadline for submissions is 13 February, 2018.

Submissions must be sent to:  The Secretary, Queensland Law Reform Commission, PO Box 13312, George Street Post Shop QLD 4003 Or email: lawreform.commission@justice.qld.gov.au.

Your submission does not need to be long, but it must address at least one of the 20 questions listed below, or you can address all of them.

Wendy Francis

ACL Queensland Director

 

One or more of the questions below must be addressed in your submission

Q-1 Who should be permitted to perform, or assist in performing, lawful terminations of pregnancy?

Q-2 Should a woman be criminally responsible for the termination of her own pregnancy?

Q-3 Should there be a gestational limit or limits for a lawful termination of pregnancy?

Q-4 If yes to Q-3, what should the gestational limit or limits be? For example: (a) an early gestational limit, related to the first trimester of pregnancy; (b) a later gestational limit, related to viability; (c) another gestational limit or limits?

Q-5 Should there be a specific ground or grounds for a lawful termination of pregnancy?

Q-6 If yes to Q-5, what should the specific ground or grounds be? For example: (a) a single ground to the effect that termination is appropriate in all the circumstances, having regard to: (i) all relevant medical circumstances; (ii) the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances; and (iii) professional standards and guidelines; (b) one or more of the following grounds: (i) that it is necessary to preserve the life or the physical or mental health of the woman; (ii) that it is necessary or appropriate having regard to the woman’s social or economic circumstances; (iii) that the pregnancy is the result of rape or another coerced or unlawful act; (iv) that there is a risk of serious or fatal fetal abnormality?

Q-7 If yes to Q-5, should a different ground or grounds apply at different stages of pregnancy?

Q-8 Should a medical practitioner be required to consult with one or more others (such as another medical practitioner or health practitioner), or refer to a committee, before performing a termination of pregnancy?

If yes to Q-8: Q-9 What should the requirement be? For example: (a) consultation by the medical practitioner who is to perform the termination with: (i) another medical practitioner; or (ii) a specialist obstetrician or gynaecologist; or (iii) a health practitioner whose specialty is relevant to the circumstances of the case; or (b) referral to a multi-disciplinary committee?

Q-10 When should the requirement apply? For example: (a) for all terminations, except in an emergency; (b) for terminations to be performed after a relevant gestational limit or on specific grounds?

Q-11 Should there be provision for conscientious objection?

Q-12 If yes to Q-11: (a) Are there any circumstances in which the provision should not apply, such as an emergency or the absence of another practitioner or termination of pregnancy service within a reasonable geographic proximity? (b) Should a health practitioner who has a conscientious objection be obliged to refer or direct a woman to another practitioner or termination of pregnancy service?

Q-13 Should there be any requirements in relation to offering counselling for the woman?

Q-14 Should it be unlawful to harass, intimidate or obstruct: (a) a woman who is considering, or who has undergone, a termination of pregnancy; or (b) a person who performs or assists, or who has performed or assisted in performing, a lawful termination of pregnancy?

Q-15 Should there be provision for safe access zones in the area around premises where termination of pregnancy services are provided?

If yes to Q-15: Q-16 Should the provision: (a) automatically establish an area around the premises as a safe access zone? If so, what should the area be; or (b) empower the responsible Minister to make a declaration establishing the area of each safe access zone? If so, what criteria should the Minister be required to apply when making the declaration?

Q-17 What behaviours should be prohibited in a safe access zone?

Q-18 Should the prohibition on behaviours in a safe access zone apply only during a particular time period?

Q-19 Should it be an offence to make or publish a recording of another person entering or leaving, or trying to enter or leave, premises where termination of pregnancy services are performed, unless the recorded person has given their consent?

Q-20 Should there be mandatory reporting of anonymised data about terminations of pregnancy in Queensland?