The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the Human Rights (Children Born Alive) Bill 2021 released today by George Christensen, MP, as a long overdue initiative that will save lives.
The bill provides that a health practitioner has a duty to administer medical care or treatment to a child born alive during an abortion, in the same way as they would for a child born alive otherwise.
“As a nation we are judged by the way we treat the most vulnerable,” says Martyn Iles, Managing Director of ACL. “There could be no-one more vulnerable than an innocent newborn child who is left to die alone, without any form of medical care or pain relief, simply because they’re unwanted.”
The situation regularly occurs where a baby is born alive after a failed abortion and no care is provided to the child. Queensland Health has previously confirmed that in cases of a ‘live birth’ abortion, “life-saving care is not rendered to the baby and it is left to perish in the clinic.”
While records are not kept in all states, the available data reveals the following numbers of babies born alive and left to perish:
- Victoria – 33 babies were born alive and subsequently died in 2016. This compares with 53 in 2012 and 38 in 2014.
- Queensland – 204 babies were born alive from 2005-2015.
- Western Australia – 27 babies were born alive and subsequently died from 1999-2016.
“Given the extent of this problem – and the gross injustice of failing to care for a living child – we call upon the government to adopt this bill as its own, or to allow the bill to be debated as a Private Member's Bill,” says Martyn Iles.
“Surely it’s the very least we can do to treat a child born alive as a human being, and offer them essential medical care.”