Australia: Extreme abortion Bill delayed until September

The word “Life” written in the sky over the Parliament in NSW

An extreme abortion Bill being pushed in New South Wales Australia has been delayed until mid-September thanks to opponents within the Parliament and public opposition to the legislation.

The abortion legislation – brought forward in New South Wales (28/07) – would allow abortion up to 22 weeks without any restrictions and abortion up to birth with the consent of two doctors. The new legislation would also make abortion legal for any reason including sex-selective abortion and abortions based on disability.

Following an inquiry into the Bill, over 13,000 submissions were made by concerned citizens causing the state parliament’s web portal to temporarily crash.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of pro-life protesters gathered in Martin Place and earlier in the day, a massive “choose life” was scrawled by skywriters above Sydney.

The Bill has been heavily criticised for its lack of any protections against the possibility of coerced abortions as well as the fact that there is no requirement for counselling and only limited protection for the rights of doctors who recognise that abortion is not healthcare.

A number of MPs have since delayed this Bill as they were concerned that it was being rushed through the Australian Parliament without due scrutiny. The Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Tuesday (20/08) has confirmed this.

A group of MPs including Christian Democrat Fred Nile, Shooters MP Robert Borsak and Liberal members Tanya Davies and Matthew Mason-Cox held a press conference to speak out against the Bill.

Ms Davies called for it to be set aside so a fresh bill could be reintroduced after six months of consultation.

“I believe it is a crisis of government we are facing,” she said.

“My community is absolutely outraged they have been shut out and denied any opportunity to participate in this process.”

It’s expected Finance Minister Damien Tudehope will move to ban sex-selective abortions and One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham is aiming to introduce amendments to protect the consciences of medical professionals.

Photo credit: screen shot (https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/berejiklian-delays-abortion-vote-to-calm-furious-conservative-mps-20190820-p52iwi.html)

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