Australia: New South Wales’ extreme abortion bill becomes law

The Australian State of New South Wales has voted to legalise an extreme abortion bill that will permit terminations up to 22 weeks into a women’s pregnancy without any kind of restriction and allow abortion up until birth with the consent of two doctors.

There was applause in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the Abortion Law Reform Act passed 26-14 in the state’s lower house, on Thursday, after 70 hours of debate in both houses.

Previously, abortions were only permitted in Australia’s most populous state if a doctor deemed the physical or mental health of a pregnant mother to be in serious danger if she continued to carry her child.

The legalisation of abortion in New South Wales means that unborn babies can be legally terminated everywhere in Australia, apart from the state of South Australia, where the law is currently under review.

The new legislation was strongly opposed by some pro-life parliamentarians who tried to add in amendments to protect some unborn babies and raised concerns about late-term abortions.

MP Mr Mason-Cox declared the bill dangerous and said “it lacks proper safeguards. It totally ignores the rights of an unborn child particularly in the case of late-term abortions.”

MP Mr Amato raised similar concerns and noted some MPs have put their “careers on the line” in the hope of defeating some of the more controversial elements of the bill.

Amendments passed in the New South Wales Legislative Council include one stating the New South Wales parliament opposes sex-selective abortions, with a future report on the issue to include recommendations on its prevention.

Another clarifies that doctors must provide appropriate care to babies born alive after a termination.

An amendment that would have requested the administration of pain relief in cases of the termination of unborn babies 20 weeks and beyond failed.

In neighbouring New Zealand, a similar bill to decriminalise abortion is currently going through parliament.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This appalling Bill will likely result in an increase in the number of lost lives as it places no restrictions at all on abortion up to 22 weeks and will, in practice, allow for abortion for any reason up to birth, providing two doctors in the state are willing to approve the abortion.”

“In the UK, since the abortion act came into effect, over 9 million unborn children have had their lives ended. Last year, abortion numbers hit a ten year high with almost 1 in 4 pregnancies resulting in a termination of an unborn baby. The sadness and severity of these figures will now become a stark reality for New South Wales.”

(Image credit: Adobe Stock: #181624064)

Pro-life Australian MPs pass amendment to prevent sex-selective abortion

Pro-life MPs in New South Wales, Australia have managed to add safeguards against sex-selective abortion to an extreme bill which intends to permit abortion up until birth with the approval of two health professionals. 

A simple amendment tabled by Finance Minister Damien Tudehope will state that the NSW Parliament opposes sex-selective abortions and will require a future review into sex-selective abortion with recommendations about how to prevent them.

It passed the upper house 28 votes to 13 after an earlier version, which attached a maximum six-month prison sentence for the offence, had been defeated. 

Last month, pro-abortion MPs pushed a radical bill through the state’s lower house which could permit abortion for any reason right up until the day of birth.

Since then the upper house has considered more than 30 amendments to the bill, with debates set to resume on Tuesday. 

In its current form, the extreme abortion bill will allow terminations up to 22 weeks without any kind of restriction at all as well as abortions up to birth if two doctors agree. 

In addition to an amendment is opposition to sex-selective abortion, Pro-life MPs have been successful in tabling and passing a number of other amendments that will help protect some unborn children who will prematurely lose their life as a result of the extreme abortion bill.

One such amendment is the survival amendment, tabled by MP Niall Blair, which states doctors must provide appropriate care to babies who are born alive after a botched abortion.

The Spectator’s Rebecca Weisser noted the importance of the amendment, comparing it to other Australian States without such laws saying:

“In Victoria, in 2016, 33 babies with suspected or confirmed congenital abnormalities were born alive and left to die out of 310 late-term abortions. In Queensland, more than 200 babies who survived abortions between 2005 and 2015 were left to die.”

The upper house also agreed to a positive amendment moved by MP Taylor Martin to change the name of the radical laws from the Reproductive Health Care Reform Act 2019 to the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019.

Other pro-life amendments to be debated include; improved conscientious objection protections for doctors and mandatory counselling for those seeking an abortion.

Another amendment by MP Greg Donnelly to require informed consent for terminations of unborn babies with a suspected or confirmed disability was rejected by 26 votes to 14.

The abortion bill will be sent back to the lower house next week for a vote on its new form.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“While it is great to see pro-life MPs have had success in softening New South Wales’ extreme abortion bill, any loss of life due to abortion is a tragedy. This appalling Bill will result in a profound number of lost lives as it places no restrictions at all on abortion up to 22 weeks and will, in practice, allow for abortion for any reason up to birth, providing two doctors in the state are willing to approve the abortion”

Australia: Amendments banning sex-selective abortion in NSW likely to be opposed

New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian

MPs in New South Wales, Australia want to ensure a new abortion Bill does not permit abortion on the grounds of the sex of the baby and provides medical care to a baby born alive after an abortion. However, the amendments are likely to be opposed by a majority of MPs.

As an extreme abortion Bill in NSW makes its way through the upper house of the Parliament a number of MPs are attempting to add amendments to soften the Bill which permits abortion up to 22 weeks without any restrictions and abortion up to birth with the consent of two doctors. This radical legislation would also make abortion legal for any reason including sex-selective abortion and abortions based on disability.

Ten Liberal, Labor and crossbench MPs intend to amend this Bill next week so that it explicitly bans abortion on the basis of sex, requires medical care for a baby born alive after a failed abortion and ensures that it remains a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion.

The MPs also want to ensure there are strict requirements to have an abortion after 20 weeks gestation. The Bill as it is currently written and supported by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, only requires the approval of two doctors for an abortion to be performed after 22 weeks up to birth.

The amendments also contain a proposal for a maximum of seven years jail for health practitioners who fail to adhere to the requirements of the Bill.

The group announced the proposed amendments earlier this week.

According to The Australian, of the 42 MPs in the state’s upper house the majority are thought to be opposed to making any amendments to the legislation.

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

Opponents of this Bill are concerned about its extreme abortion limit. The Bill does not place any limitations on abortions before 22 weeks despite the fact that babies born can be born before this time and are known to have survived and gone on to flourish.

At the same time, in England and Wales, babies in the womb undergoing spinal surgery at 20-24 weeks gestation are given painkillers (although babies being aborted at the same gestation are not).

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“The NSW Abortion Bill is appalling however you look at it. This Bill is not concerned with rare cases where it might be necessary to end a pregnancy prematurely when there is a real danger to the mother’s life. This Bill places no restrictions at all on abortion up to 22 weeks and will, in practice, allow for abortion for any reason up to birth, providing two doctors in the state are willing to approve the abortion”

“Abortion on the grounds of sex overwhelmingly targets girls, to the extent that there are millions of ‘missing’ women and girls in India alone – in large part as a result of sex-selective abortion.”

“It is incredible that an amendment banning abortion on the grounds of sex is likely to be opposed by a number of MPs in the NSW Parliament, and is revealing about just how radical, barbaric and out of touch at least some of these pro-abortion MPs are.”

NZ PM’s popularity plummets as she supports abortion up to birth

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Arden, with her daughter

New polling has revealed that the popularity of New Zealand’s Prime Minister has plummeted at the same time as the Government she leads has brought forward a bill which seeks to introduce one of the most extreme abortion policies in the world.

Jacinda Ardern’s prime ministerial polling dropped two times in the last two Colmar Brunton/One News Surveys, from 51% in April – shortly after New Zealand’s terrorist attack – to 41% last month.

Some commentators have suggested her polling has dropped as much as 16% according to her own party’s internal polling.

When asked whether she was concerned about this drop in her popularity, Arden said:

“When it comes to the personal ratings what I equally accept is that when you are in Government and taking on big challenges and difficult conversations and hard debates there are going to be people who disagree with you,” Ardern said.

“We are not going to make progress on some of these big difficult issues unless we are willing to confront hard conversations.

“If you simply govern just to maintain popularity it probably means you are not taking some of those big issues on.”

One of those ‘big difficult issues’ that Arden has taken a clear position on is New Zealand’s extreme abortion legislation currently passing through the New Zealand Parliament.

The Abortion Legislation Bill, which passed its first reading earlier this month, will make abortion legal up until birth with the approval of a single nurse or doctor, which could be the abortion doctor or nurse performing the abortion, and has the Prime Minster of New Zealand’s full support.

New Zealand Justice Minister, Andrew Little, admitting abortion with the consent of a single health professional will be available up to birth.

Arden’s drop in popularity is consistent with other countries where leaders have supported extreme abortion legislation. Thousands of pro-lifers protested outside of New South Wales Parliament House, and almost 100,000 people signed a petition asking the Legislative Council in New South Wales to reject the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019.

After the surprise victory of the Liberal Party in Australia in June, the Labor Party’s radical abortion pledges were identified as a possible reason the party did not win the election. In the run up to the election, the party had pledged state funding for late-term abortions, which, in some states, would have meant funding abortions up to birth.

Spokesperson For Right To Life UK Catherine Robinson said:

“It is no surprise Jacinda Arden is losing popularity over this issue. Extreme abortion legislation is not a vote winning position. Only abortion ideologues want abortion up until birth. Everyone else can recognise the extreme barbarity of laws which permit abortion at 9 months gestation.”