VIC style abortion law set for Queensland
The Queensland Labor Government has got what it asked for from the Queensland Law reform Commission – a draft bill to fully legalise abortion up to birth, along with measures to suppress free speech around abortion facilities (denying women the last minute offer of help and a life-affirming response to a crisis pregnancy) and to override the right to freedom of conscience of health practitioners by mandating compulsory referral to an abortionist.
In conducting the inquiry the Commission was instructed to have regard to “the Queensland Government’s commitment to modernise” the law on abortion.
In my submission to the inquiry I argued that:
Any abortion law that aims to be “modern” should take into account the most recent scientific knowledge.
The simple biological and human reality is that every abortion ends the life of an unborn child. Proposals for abortion on request wrongly treat the unborn child as irrelevant, virtually invisible.
This approach is not realistic or sustainable in the light of current scientific evidence.
The science of fetology has dramatically improved our understanding of unborn human life. It is no longer possible in the age of 4D ultrasound and in utero fetal surgery to hold that the fetus is just a bunch of cells or anything other than “one of us”, that is a human being.
These are just some facts about the unborn child revealed by recent scientific developments:
- “Cardiac motion can be visualized using ultrasonography from as early as 26–32 days after conception, and certain aspects of embryonic heart function have been studied using Doppler ultrasonography from 6 weeks of gestation.” At 6 weeks the mean heart rate is 117 beats per minute. At 10 weeks the mean heart rate is 171 beats per minute.
- A motor response can first be seen as a whole body movement away from a stimulus and observed on ultrasound from as early as 7.5 weeks’ gestational age. The area around the mouth is the first part of the body to respond to touch at approximately 8 weeks, but by 14 weeks most of the body is responsive to touch.
- By 15 weeks gestation the human fetus has fully developed and functioning taste buds.
- “Starting from the 14th week of gestation twin foetuses plan and execute movements specifically aimed at the co-twin. These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behaviour: when the context enables it, as in the case of twin foetuses, other-directed actions are not only possible but predominant over self-directed”.
Any consideration of abortion law must take into account the reality that abortion ends the life of an innocent human being. An approach to the law which makes the unborn child invisible is not rational or justifiable, let alone “modern”.
The Commission’s 324 page report does a fair job of summarising the arguments from both sides but in every case dismisses the arguments from a prolife perspective and comes down decisively on the side of the proponents of abortion without effective limits of any kind.
I agree with LNP Senator Amanda Stoker that:
All of this should come as no surprise. Labor went to the last election being very open about their support for late-term abortion. But in a state without a house of review to temper the extremes of majority government, it is a timely reminder that all our choices, including on whom we vote for and to whom we direct our preferences, deliver enormous consequences.
In this case, it is literally the difference between life and death.