The issue of living babies being left to die in Western Australia may finally be investigated after a petition signed by 7,243 people was tabled in Parliament this week.
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Parliament to prioritise the inquiry as every living person is embued with the same rights.
“It will be difficult for any parliamentarian to shrug off this plea from ordinary Western Australians to investigate the 27 known occasions between 1999 and 2016 when babies were born alive following abortions but then being left to die,” ACL spokesperson for children, Wendy Francis said.
Despite it being the largest petition in the term of this parliament, the media attend but fail to report on it.
“When born alive, despite an attempt to abort, the baby is entitled to the same rights and access to medical attention that is provided to all babies born in the maternity ward,” Ms Francis said.
“It is time for a thorough investigation by the Parliament into why Western Australian babies are being left to die.”
Prior to the WA election held last March, then Opposition leader Mark McGowan shocked attendees at ACL’s Make it Count election event by describing babies surviving an abortion a ‘terrible tragedy’.
However, in response to an ACL questionnaire, Labor did indicate its willingness to be transparent in relation to abortion, providing some hope that it would be willing to acknowledge and investigate the 27 deaths after live births.
“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.
“The Australian Christian Lobby commends Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Nick Goiran, for tabling the petition this week and for his efforts to raise the concerns of thousands who want to protect the most vulnerable of children,” Ms Francis said.
“The ACL calls on the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs, which is reviewing the petition to establish an inquiry to investigate the issues that led to and allowed these deaths to occur.”
The ACL encourages Western Australians to write to the Committee before Tuesday 7 November, 2017.