The battles over life are ever being fought. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. But a big victory has just occurred in Queensland. It does not mean that the abortion wars there are now over, but it does mean a big win has occurred which will at least stall further attempts at pushing the baby-killing agenda.
One news report puts it this way:
Independent MP Rob Pyne has announced he will withdraw his abortion reform bills with the issue to instead be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission. The laws were due to be debated tomorrow. Instead, the reforms will now not be considered until the next term of government if Labor wins the election.
“They (the Bills) will be withdrawn and that’s as a result of the undertaking the government has given to refer this to the law reform commission,” Mr Pyne said. “It’s very disappointing that the LNP could not participate more fully in this debate. If this independent avenue of the law reform commission is what it takes to get some MPs across the line then lets do it. A woman’s right to choose must be something that we should respect and I hope this legislative reform will deliver that.”
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad described the last-minute decision to refer it to the QLRC as a pragmatic approach. “It’s clear that because the LNP has decided to vote on bloc and vote against modernising abortion laws in Queensland, both Bills that the Member for Cairns Rob Pyne has introduced will fail tomorrow night. “We don’t want to see the reform lost.” Mr Pyne denied his Bills were at fault.
Another news item also said this:
Because not all Labor MPs were expected to support changing abortion laws, at least some LNP MPs would have been needed to vote in favour for the reforms to succeed in Queensland’s tightly balanced Parliament. Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the QLRC would be asked to look at options to remove the termination of pregnancies by medical practitioners from the Criminal Code and to look at a new framework.
“The Palaszczuk Government will commit to introducing a bill to reflect the views of the Queensland Law Reform Commission in the next term of government,” Ms D’Ath said. “We believe this is important because the Parliament committee reports have shown that there are flaws in the current two bills [introduced by Mr Pyne].”
Just earlier Tim Nicholls MP, Leader of the Opposition in Queensland and Leader of the LNP had said this:
Today, in the LNP Party Room, I offered all our MPs a conscience vote on the second of Rob Pyne’s Abortion Bills.
This issue is very emotional for all of us and we discussed it at length. What I can say is that after this discussion every single member of the LNP party room indicated that, in good conscience, they cannot support these Bills on Wednesday.
The first Bill left the entire area of abortion unregulated and this was clearly untenable. The second Bill attempts to correct the failures of the first Bill but falls well short. It creates further risk and uncertainty as shown in the Parliamentary Committee report – this doesn’t help anyone.
In fact, the second Bill makes it legal for a woman to secure her own abortion without medical supervision – including by the use of illicitly obtained drugs. The second Bill also creates additional legal uncertainty and an ongoing legislative conflict between the Criminal Code and the Health Act.
The most recent Parliamentary Committee report makes it very clear that if a woman in Queensland wants or needs an abortion she can obtain one safely through her doctor. The process and the manner of this legislation, as well as the failure to properly and holistically deal with such an important issue, means LNP Members in good conscience cannot support the Bills.
Julie Borger of Cherish Life had said this about the bill a few months ago:
Labor Independent MP Mr Rob Pyne, was trying to fool Queenslanders into thinking that his second abortion Bill which was tabled yesterday (17 August) in State Parliament would be restricting abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, according to Cherish Life Queensland..
“Pyne’s new Bill is a con job to trick the public into thinking he is protecting viable babies,” Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said. “The truth is that Pyne’s latest Bill is modelled on Victoria’s extreme laws,” Mrs Borger said.
“The requirement in Pyne’s new Bill that abortions after 24 weeks have to be approved by two doctors is simply window dressing to pretty up an ugly piece of legislation. The fact is this is just a sham and a facade, as the second doctor is not required to see or speak to the patient, or even look at her file.
“For that matter, the second doctor does not have to be independent so it could be that the two doctors at an abortion clinic who would profit from the procedure would approve the late-term abortion. Furthermore, Mr Pyne’s Bill wimped out on applying any penalty to a doctor disregarding the rules for late-term abortion, specifically stating this would not be an offense.
“How can a just, caring and civilised society allow the killing of pre-born babies, particularly those who would be viable outside the womb? If the mother does not want to keep her child, there is no need to destroy the baby in the womb. It would be a more loving alternative to let her be born alive and adopted out.”
Mrs Borger said that in Victoria, 179 (or exactly half) of the 358 late-term abortions performed in 2013 (the most recent year released) were done for “psycho-social” reasons, that is on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies.
She said a recent Galaxy poll showed that 94% of Queensland voters were opposed to abortions after 20 weeks. Mrs Borger said it was ironic for the latest Pyne Bill to describe the proposed no-protest areas around abortion clinics as “protected areas”. “There is no protection inside abortion clinics for either mother or baby,” she said, “as with every abortion, the toll is one dead, one wounded.”
The news was welcomed by many who have been closely involved in all this. Wendy Francis of the ACL said this:
Dancing on the inside! The withdrawal of Pyne’s 2 abortion bills, the day before they were to be voted on in the Qld Parliament, is a win for women and the community and an admission that these two bills were dangerous and morally untenable.
The LNP are to be congratulated for taking a conscientious stand against the bills. Take the time to thank them! And let the ALP know that it will be electoral suicide for them to make liberalizing abortion and sanctioning the killing of the unborn part of its election campaign.
There are so many people to thank here for all their hard work and dogged persistence in standing for life in Queensland. If I started naming names I would have to list so many. Well, I did mention two above, and they would certainly be on the top of any such list. So thanks again Julie Borger and Wendy Francis and all the other champions who have worked tirelessly for life.
All your efforts have paid off – big time. We salute you.