In 2016, then Health Minister Cameron Dick revealed to the Qld Parliament that in the previous 11 years over 200 Qld babies had survived abortions, but these babies were left to die after birth, and sadly this number was increasing. Queensland Health confirmed that if a baby survives an abortion procedure and is born alive, life-sustaining care is not given to the baby and it is left to perish in the clinic. Children by Choice also commented on the statistic and said that the decision may be because of a foetal abnormality yet we know that this is not the case for all the aborted babies.
Concerned by the lack of detail, and the knowledge that live babies were not afforded the treatment given to others of their gestation in the same hospital, I wrote to the Qld Coroner and asked whether the deaths of these babies had been reported to the Coroner and requested the Coroners Court conduct an investigation into the deaths of two of the late term babies who had been terminated for maternal psychosocial reasons and were born alive and left to die.
The Qld Coroner’s reply to me was that the coroner was “unable to obtain particulars of the two deaths from the Queensland Maternal and Perinatal Council. It is established as a Quality Assurance Committee under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011. This means that information acquired/generated by the Council is protected from disclosure and cannot be compelled by judicial or administrative processes.”
This should concern every Queenslander, especially in the light of the extreme abortion bill about to be voted on in Parliament that would not prohibit abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason.
In Western Australia last year, Member of Parliament Nick Goiran tabled the largest petition in the Legislative Council for 2017. The petitioners pleaded with the relevant parliamentary committee to conduct an inquiry into the systemic abuse of Western Australian infants who were born alive following abortion and left to die. What followed was an inquiry into eight such deaths. Even those modest enquiries revealed that some of those eight infants had “non-lethal abnormalities”. Just last month the committee advised that the inquiry had been finalised.
As a result, a Coroners Amendment Bill 2017 was brought forward for debate in the WA Legislative Council, during which the Government conceded that there was a statutory duty to report these deaths to the Coroner. And then, on Thursday 20 September 2018, the WA Coroner’s office confirmed it was now pursuing this matter with the Department of Health.
Why should Queensland babies be treated any less?
Of course, we shouldn’t treat these babies any different. They are little people and they are alive. If we don’t protect them during their first moments of life, what does that say about us?