I have just read the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008 currently before the Parliament of Victoria, Australia. In simple language, it succinctly outlines its brutal purpose. Pictured on the right is the unfortunate face of the Minister for Early Childhood Development, Maxine Morand MP. The Victoria Government has given her the duty of “ensur[ing] that all Victorian children have the opportunity to get the very best possible start in life.” – source. It seems impossible then that Morand could have tabled the bill calling for abortion on demand in her state. Below are the two most attrocious aims of the bill, with comments from Right to Life Australia in italics.
Section 5: Termination of pregnancy by registered medical practitioner after 24 weeks
(1) A registered medical practitioner may perform an abortion on a woman who is more than 24 weeks pregnant only if the medical practitioner—
(a) reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances; and
(b) has consulted at least one other registered medical practitioner who also reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances.
(2) In considering whether the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances, a registered medical practitioner must have regard to—
(a) all relevant medical circumstances; and
(b) the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances.
Section 5 of the Bill allows abortion after 24 weeks up until birth if two doctors believe the “abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances.” The appropriateness of the abortion will be judged on “the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances”. This, in effect, represents abortion on demand up to birth. We know that doctors are already willing to perform these late term abortions for psychological and social reasons, and women seeking an abortion will have no trouble finding two such doctors.
Section 8(3)&(4): Despite any conscientious objection to abortion, a registered medical practitioner [or a registered nurse] is under a duty to perform an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.
Section 8 of the Bill requires pro-life doctors to refer women to pro-abortion doctors if they themselves conscientiously object to abortion. This section does not provide for conscientious objection at all because it mandates that all doctors participate in the abortion process. Section 8 also mandates that pro-life doctors and nurses must participate in abortions if there is an ‘emergency threatening the life of the woman’. How will that be defined? On current interpretations this section could be read as a broad obligation to perform abortions.
This is a terrible downwards step for Australia to be taking. In passing this bill into law, they join ranks with the few other countries who allow abortion up till birth. Under their new law, it will be legal to end the life of a little baby just minutes before it would have been naturally born. This is due to the fact that the bill does not specify at what number of weeks abortion may not take place – or, may only take place if the mother’s life is at “serious risk”.