The Abortion Bill proposed by Labor’s Jackie Trad is considered the most radical proposal to come before an Australian parliament. Over 6000 submissions were received and over 23,879 people signed the petition opposing the Bill.
In my submission to the Queensland Parliamentary Committee appointed to the matter I pointed out the following:
The language is in places dangerously obscure. For example, it could be interpreted that if a mother caused the death of her unborn child for any reason, at any time before birth, she would be not guilty of killing the child simply by claiming it was an abortion. (Part 3 paragraph 10)
It permits Safe Access Zones to be increased beyond 150 meters if a judge or magistrate considers a clinic has a case for an extension. (Part 4 Division 1, paragraph 4)
It fails to understand conscientious objection. It assumes that this applies only to not being personally involved in the abortion, but not to the duty to refer a patient for an abortion. (Section 8) Further it fails to understand that a faith-based medical institution may have been established with a conscientious commitment to protect life including the life of the unborn as an article of faith. Conscientious objection applies not only to individual persons but to faith-based institutions and entire communities of faith.
It is proposed abortion be on request with no requirements for a woman to be counselled. The assumption may be that this releases a woman from being influenced against an abortion. The greater issue is that a woman may be being coerced and proceeding because she feels unsupported. If the woman’s wellbeing was truly being considered this option should be included. Further this makes false the claim that this proposal seeks to remove abortion from the criminal code making it a medical matter. If it were a medical matter then a medical reasons would be required.
There is no protection for a child being terminated based purely on sex selection.
The reading of submissions listed (https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/HCDSDFVPC/inquiries/current-inquiries/TerminationOfPregnancyB18) shows that most oppose the Bill for very substantial reasons.
Those who are proposing it to the Parliament should be embarrassed by its inadequacy and lack of humanity.