Thousands of pro-life campaigners gathered in South Australia this week to urge the state Government to drop plans to introduce abortion, for any reason, up to birth.
Over 3,500 attended Adelaide’s Walk for Life on the weekend carrying signs which read, “Abortion Up To Birth, Not in SA,” “Choose Life” and “Love them Both”.
The event was organised by Love Adelaide, a pro-life organisation concerned by the extreme abortion law changes being proposed in South Australia.
Love Adelaide founder Jodie Pickard said the Walk For Life event was the largest pro-life rally held in South Australia over the past decade.
She told The Advertiser: “Our laws allow abortion up to 28 weeks, past viability and they see no legal, moral or ethical reason to consider extending what is already extreme abortion law in itself.”
Speaking at the Walk for Life, pro-life MP Claire Scriven described the proposed laws as “damaging and devastating”.
“It’s fair to say that generally people expect that new laws that are introduced will help our society or will help conditions for individuals within our society.
“These proposals do neither of those two things. These proposals abandon women and these proposals abandon their babies.”
Abortion is already available up to 28 weeks’ gestation in South Australia if two doctors agree a woman’s physical or mental health is endangered by pregnancy, or if there is a risk the child is likely to be born with a serious abnormality.
However, the Attorney-General’s Office is currently drafting more extreme abortion laws after receiving a detailed list of recommendations from the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI).
In February 2019, the South Australian Attorney-General Vickie Chapman MP asked SALRI to examine the current South Australian law on abortion and propose reforms that would “improve the efficiency of health service provision and access”.
In response, SALRI issued a report, in October, calling on the Attorney General to fully ‘decriminalise’ abortion in the Australian state, along with an extensive list of extreme abortion proposals. The term ‘decriminalise’ is a misnomer used by abortion activists to describe the removal of almost all current safeguards around abortion.
The Attorney General has since announced he plans to adopt most of the extreme proposals put forward by SALRI, with a bill expected to be presented to the state parliament in the coming months.
The proposed new abortion regime will allow abortion, for any reason, up to birth with the involvement of one medical practitioner, providing that after 23 weeks the medical practitioner discusses the abortion ‘procedure’ with another practitioner.
The Attorney General’s Office will seek to remove a requirement that abortions must take place in prescribed hospitals. Additionally, they accepted a recommendation that no restrictions should be placed on the use of telehealth medicine abortions, also informally known as ‘facetime abortions’.
The Attorney General has also adopted SALRI’s recommendation that there should be “no legislative prohibition in South Australia on gender selective abortion”.
The new bill will also propose the inclusion of so-called “safe access zones” which seek to block and prevent any peaceful demonstrations and help from being offered anywhere abortions may take place. The prescribed distance will be 150m.
Legislative changes will also be made to allow nurses and midwives to prescribe powerful abortion-inducing drugs. There appears to be nothing in the documentation that would prevent abortion pills being from being taken at locations such as schools, colleges etc, possibly under coercion from third-parties.
In 2017, 4,349 abortions took place in the South Australia.
Last year, the Australian state of New South Wales voted in favour of an extreme abortion bill permitting terminations up to 22 weeks without any kind of restriction and up to birth with the consent of two doctors.
In neighbouring New Zealand, a similar bill to introduce de-facto abortion for any reason up to birth is currently going through parliament.
A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:
“It’s so good to see such large number of people out standing up for the unborn and women facing unplanned pregnancies, and against this extreme abortion proposal. This follows a massive backlash in New South Wales last year when a similar extreme abortion law was proposed there.
“We should not be desensitised to the severity of what is being proposed in South Australia. Children are born at 22 weeks in developed countries and go on to thrive. Abortion at this late stage, and even up until birth, whether in South Australia or in anywhere else, is especially barbaric.”