Nick GoiranIn a speech to parliament last week, Western Australian MP Nick Goiran exposed the realities of abortion practices in the state, particularly in cases where the condition of the unborn child is clearly compatible with life.

As part of a two year investigation into the practice, Mr Goiran found that 52 (10 per cent) of the 474 post 20-week abortions performed since November 2001 had happened because the unborn child had Spina Bifida, and 35 (seven per cent) was due to Down Syndrome.

Other conditions that we also given in justification of the abortion were four cases of skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism), a hand defect, an upper limb abnormality and one case of 47XYY (minor chromosomal disorder).

In his speech, Mr Goiran called on members of parliament to reform abortion laws, saying:

"Although I do not support post-20 week abortions as a matter of principle grounded on the right to life, at the very least I am asking all members to have the courage to reform this area urgently so that we cease this grotesque discrimination against people with disabilities. We cannot pretend to be a civilised society if we stand by and allow terminations of pregnancies for Down syndrome, which I have described publicly as people who happen to be happier than I am; or for people with spina bifida whose backs are less straight than mine; or for people with dwarfism who happen to be shorter than I am; or possibly, worst of all, those with limb abnormalities, which to this day I still cannot believe and reconcile has occurred." 

Abortion has been legal in Western Australia since May 1998 and it’s estimated 134,000 unborn children have died in the 16 years since it became legal. More than 600 of these babies have been killed after 20 weeks gestation solely because of a disability such as Down Syndrome, spina bifida or dwarfism.

In WA, abortion after 20 weeks is allowed if two medical practitioners have agreed that the mother, or the unborn child, has a severe medical condition that in their professional opinion justifies the procedure.

The statistics outlined above clearly show a mis-use of the legislation as the justifications fall short of the term "severe medical condition”.

Mr Goiran is urging Western Australians to write to WA's Minister for Health Dr Kim Hames asking for a bill to prohibit post 20-week abortions for conditions compatible with life. You can email him at [email protected] or for more contact details, follow this link.

Mr Goiran's speech to the Legislative Council can be viewed here. His speech begins on page 3836 and is continued after an interruption on page 3850.

Earlier this month, around 700 people participated in this year's Walk and Rally for Life in Perth, calling for an end to abortion in the state. The organiser collected over 500 signatures on an open letter to Premier Colin Barnett calling for greater protection for the unborn in WA. Follow this link for more information on the event.