Bipartisan support should be achieved in the Victorian Parliament to support a bill aimed at stopping post 24 week abortions, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL Victorian Director Dan Flynn said parliamentarians from all political persuasions would be hard pressed not to support protecting unborn infants who have a viable chance of living.
“It is commonly held view in maternity hospital practice that pre born babies are viable at 24-weeks gestation. The Bill was introduced in the Victorian Parliament today by Democratic Labour Party MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins and is slated for debate in May.
“The ACL is encouraged by the work that Rachel Carling-Jenkins has done in proposing a bill that can be embraced by the whole community,” Mr Flynn said.
“The Infant Viability Bill has widespread support in the medical field and in the community. Over 42,000 signatures have been collected in handwritten petitions in support of the bill.
“A Galaxy Poll obtained in March shows that although most Victorians back abortion in general, 64 per cent oppose abortion post 20-weeks.
“Only 25 per cent were in favour of late-term abortions.
“With scientific advances people are becoming increasingly aware of the terrible nature of abortion to the mother and the unborn baby.”
Mr Flynn said the Infant Viability Bill will ensure that all infants born from the 24th week will be cared for with the intent to save the infant’s life.
“If passed by Parliament the bill will correct a tragic injustice where babies born in Victoria are being left to die,” he said.
“Particularly pleasing to the Australian Christian Lobby is the requirement, stipulated in the bill, for doctors to offer practical support, for example by referring a distressed post-24 week pregnant mother to pregnancy support services.
“Pregnancy can be a very difficult time for many mothers and to put in place new measures to provide real support to mother and unborn child is a tremendous step forward for the medical profession, and for all Victorians.”
Mr Flynn said while penalties will be introduced for physicians who breach the new laws, mothers will not be criminalised or face any penalties.
“We call on the Victorian Labor Government to embrace this reform measure and work alongside Rachel Carling-Jenkins to protect the voiceless and the vulnerable.”
“If passed, Victoria will have more humane abortion laws, providing a blueprint for other states to follow.