In the lead up to the WA election, the Australian Christian Lobby has reiterated its call for an investigation into the more than 26 babies that have been born alive and left to die in WA hospitals since 1999.

At the recent ACL Make it Count election event, both Premier Colin Barnett and opposition leader Mark McGowan declined to commit to an investigation into how the babies, having survived late term abortions, were not rendered care and so left to die.

While Premier Barnett told the Make it Count audience that his personal view was that surviving babies should be rendered assistance, Mr McGowan shocked the crowd by saying babies surviving an abortion was a ‘terrible tragedy’.

ACL WA director Dahlia Messiha said the community would expect that all babies born alive would be afforded equal care of treatment.

“It is a terrible indictment on our medical system that some babies are left to die in one part of the hospital, while across the corridor a baby of the same age would be rendered all the treatment possible to keep the baby alive,” Ms Messiha said.

WA Labor and the WA Liberals have set out their views on abortion and other social issues in response to an ACL election questionnaire.

“WA Labor is in favour of accurate (abortion) information being the basis of public debate and to inform Government decisions,” WA Labor said in its response to ACL.

“Keeping uniform data on abortion across the nation would be an important step in peeling back the true extent to which abortion is leaving a tragic legacy on our communities and families,” Ms Messiha said.

In its response, the WA Liberals remained neutral on the question of what steps it would take on abortion saying the ‘termination of pregnancy is set out in the WA Health Act’ and ‘the decision to approve a late termination of pregnancy at King Edward Memorial Hospital is based on input from the multi-disciplinary team of medical practitioners involved in caring for the mother”.

Snapshot on party policies provided to ACL (for a more detailed response click here)

Ensuring that all prematurely born babies receive equal access to care and treatment

WA Labor: WA Labor supports current laws of pregnancy terminations, which includes additional requirements in Section 334(7) of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 around terminations after 20 weeks.

WA Liberals: The termination of pregnancy is set out in the WA Health Act. The Act requires that before a greater than 20-week pregnancy can be terminated there must be a clinical diagnosis of a serious medical condition affecting the health of either the mother or the baby. 

Australian Christians: AC calls for more accountability and reporting on the true statistics of abortion rates. 

Ensuring offensive advertising is taken off our roads

WA Labor: The Advertising Standards Bureau receives a number of complaints every year ….. however efforts to enforce ASB rulings have so far been ineffective. WA Labor will monitor QLD legislation where vehicles carrying offensive signage, such as Wicked Campers, will be deregistered.

WA Liberals: The Liberal Party acknowledges the Bureau and Board having the appropriate mechanisms to arbitrate advertising content.

Australian Christians: Yes, and also keep the media accountable to the types of ads that air during key TV times and radio slots.

Commitment to removing the highly sexualised Safe Schools program from WA schools

WA Labor: If the Federal Government withdraws funding, WA Labor will provide funding to allow those public secondary schools to choose to use the Safe schools program that meets their school's needs. 

WA Liberals: The program developed by SSCA is not endorsed or mandated by the Department of Education.  Schools have the flexibility to choose resources that best suit the context of their teaching and learning programs. 

Australian Christians: AC’s opposes any program that seeks to promote Gender Dysphoria. (Safe Schools) should be replaced by a program that promotes the health and well-being of all students.

On any plans to introduce euthanasia legislation

WA Labor: Any Bill that came forward would be a Private Members Bill and not sponsored by WA Labor.

WA Liberals: Euthanasia is a personal matter and when raised in the Parliament has been a matter for individual members to consider.

Australian Christians: Against any bill that seeks to take a life. No intention to introduce legislation.

For more comprehensive party responses on many other social issues click here.