Extreme abortion legislation delayed in Australia

New South Wales could become the next state in Australia to introduce extreme abortion legislation which 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 make abortion legal for any reason including sex-selective abortion and abortions based on disability.

A new Bill has been put forward in New South Wales (28/07), Australia which would see the removal of all restrictions and safeguards to abortion provision up until the 22nd week of pregnancy.

A number of Liberal MPs have since delayed this Bill as they were concerned that it was being rushed through the Australian Parliament without due scrutiny.

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.

The Bill does not contain any provision or safeguard to account for cases where a boyfriend or family member might pressure a woman into having an abortion she does not want. It would also make extreme late-term abortion available up to birth with the consent of two doctors.

Clause 5 of the Bill states:

“A person who is a medical practitioner may perform a termination on a person who is not more than 22 weeks pregnant.”

This clause apparently gives medical practitioners complete immunity regardless of whether a woman has received informed consent in regard to her abortion. It also allows for sex-selective abortion, which typically involves ending the lives of baby girls because sons are desired. There is evidence of this practice being widespread in parts of India.

CEO of NSW Right to Life Dr Rachel Carling said it was concerning that the bill has no mention of a woman’s consent as women facing an unplanned pregnancy are often vulnerable to coercion from others to abort their child.

“[T]his legislation will add to a culture of devaluing motherhood and increases the risk of women being [taken] advantage of when they are at their most vulnerable,” Dr Carling added.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life said:

 “It is no surprise that the abortion lobby are attempting to fast-track this extreme legislation in New South Wales. We have seen similar tactics used in the UK. The abortion lobby never seem to want to properly debate their legislation, but rather rush it through as fast as possible, without Parliament having the opportunity to examine the details too closely.”

“Fortunately, there are a number of MPs in New South Wales who have called a halt to this as they recognise that this kind of extreme legislation, needs more time to be debated and explored.”

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