April 8th 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Euthanasia: shutting up by shouting down

EUTHANASIA British actress tells it like it is

CANBERRA OBSERVED Move on 18C a return to a classic Liberal position

EDITORIAL Kowtowing to China is a serious mistake

ENERGY Hazelwood is vital to Australia's power supply

FOREIGN AFFAIRS UK sets out on the bumpy road to Brexit

QUEENSLAND Women have a victory over the abortion industry

BEHIND THE NEWS Ataturk and modern Turkey out of the shadow

WEST AUSTRALIAN ELECTION Unions and Emily's Listers reap WA Labor's harvest

LITERATURE The Napoleon of Notting Hill: Chesterton for today

HUMOUR Excerpts from the revised and updated edition of Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods

MUSIC Program notes: Jazz's two-tiered appeal

CINEMA The Boss Baby: Tots that mean business

BOOK REVIEW End to history nowhere in sight

BOOK REVIEW That sinking feeling



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Women have a victory over the abortion industry

by Luke McCormack

News Weekly, April 8, 2017

On the week scheduled for the big debate, knowing he didn’t have the numbers, the Independent Member for Cairns, Rob Pyne, withdrew his two bills from the Queensland Parliament which sought to decriminalise abortion right up to full term, compel professionals to assist in some abortions and supress free speech anywhere near an abortion clinic.

The bills were scheduled for debate on Ash Wednesday, March 1, the first day of Lent in the Christian calendar. Lent is a period of fasting and prayer leading up to Holy Week and Easter.

The coincidence highlights that Mr Pyne’s bills would have made it illegal for citizens to join the Lenten prayer campaign called Forty Days for Life, which is a peaceful and respectful movement offering silent prayers for the men, women and children caught up in unwanted abortions.

Some of the numbers that stacked up against the Pyne abortion bills.

If Mr Pyne’s bills had passed, the actions of peaceful citizens engaged in such a peaceful vigil would, overnight, be deemed prohibited actions punishable with hefty fines.

Many voters are unaware of the commercial and scientific interests in tissue and organ transplant and research that lie, quietly, behind the abortion industry.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen the shocking revelations caught on camera from the United States’ largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, that detail entrenched corrupt and illegal trading in aborted baby tissues, organs and intact bodies.

On the first of 12 videos, Dr Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood is seen commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

In the second video, Planned Parenthood’s Dr Mary Gatter joked: “I want a Lamborghini”, as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.

It would be fitting for governments to ask police to investigate possible illegal activities associated with the sign-off process for donation of the bodies, the transport and reception of aborted babies’ bodies and/or tissues and organs, as well as any donations back to political parties or candidates.

For readers unaware of the Planned Parenthood scandal, thankfully the videos are still available for viewing on YouTube, just search for “Planned Parenthood exposed 12 videos”.

The campaign

Mr Pyne relied on old slogans, ignored common law rulings that permit abortion “for the health of the mother” and enlisted retiree feminists to drive his mediocre campaign.

The campaign against his bills was led by a new non-politically aligned group called Abortion Rethink, which was full of young faces, women and professionals. They made the positive case for supporting women and children with the best possible professional care Queensland has to offer.

The National Civic Council worked with a large alliance of groups including the premier pro-life lobby in Queensland, Cherish Life Queensland, in a campaign that included media conferences, letterboxing, letter-writing events, visits to MPs, social-media work and more.

The Australian Family Association helped start the campaign on a solid footing by re-commissioning an extensive 13-question Galaxy poll on abortion. The results show there is no consensus in Queensland for decriminalising abortions: 55 per cent agree is takes a human life; 84 per cent agree it harms women’s health; 94 per cent want independent counselling (not from an abortion clinic); and 72 per cent are opposed to abortions after 13 weeks gestation.

Add to this the 62 per cent who are opposed or unsure about abortions for non-medical reasons. (View the poll).

Having analysed the results extensively, AFA spokeswoman Angela Duff said: “It is accurate to say Queenslanders are generally cautious about abortion.” In contrast, Mr Pyne’s bills were reckless in their approach to women’s health care for unplanned pregnancy.

Abortion for most women is, at heart, essentially a social, financial and emotional issue largely driven by lack of practical and proximate support.

A study in the U.S. of 252 women 10 years after their abortion showed 83 per cent would definitely have chosen to keep their baby if they had received support from anyone: husband, boyfriend, counsellor, friend, parent, doctor, social worker or other family member. (D. Reardon, Aborted Women, Silent No More, p11)

In fact, Mr Pyne’s bills were drafted in a way that seemed only to protect the abortion industry and abortionists themselves, while offering no safeguards to women. For example, there were no protections against coercion. There was no cooling-off period, or compulsory reporting of suspected sexual abuse of minors. There was no requirement for the offer of independent counselling before a referral to a clinic.

While medical problems in pregnancy can occur, there is no medical consensus that abortion is ever a recommended treatment plan. The only case worth mentioning here for clarification is when the embryo implants in a fallopian tube – ectopic pregnancy – in which the primary purpose of treatment is to remove the swollen fallopian tube, which would rupture and risk killing the mother, and of course the secondary consequence, not intention, is the unwanted death of the embryo.

Additionally, nowhere in the medical literature is abortion recommended as a treatment for suicide ideation. In fact, research shows that abortion increases the likelihood of suicide ideation and substance abuse. Yet the threat of suicide could be cited as a reason for “emergency” abortions and therefore trigger Mr Pyne’s clause compelling doctors and nurses to perform abortions against their will.

Mr Pyne’s first bill, which sought to remove three Criminal Code clauses and failed to actually regulate abortion, was the subject of a committee inquiry that recommended rejecting the bill.

Mr Pyne’s second bill (tabled before the first inquiry had even reported) sought to amend the Health Act in an attempt to regulate abortion. Strangely, the bill would have permitted do-it-yourself abortions. It sought to penalise any peaceful expression or discussion, signs, words, protests that might dissuade a woman from an abortion within 50 metres of a clinic or hospital where abortions take place. Imagine being fined for trying to offer alternatives to your daughter as she walked up to the clinic!

The committee examining Mr Pyne’s second bill failed to reach a majority decision and therefore could not recommend the bill be passed.

Each committee inquiry saw a vast majority of submission against the proposed changes and many expert witnesses appearing in person. The details are available on the Queensland Parliament website.

Additionally, each bill was opposed by large numbers of electronic petitioners who signed parliamentary e-petitions. Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby launched the petitions. The total number of combined signatories was greater than 50,000.

The proof of just how unpopular Mr Pyne’s proposed changes were was also evident in the big turnout to the annual March for Life through Brisbane, with a record crowd of almost 4,000 on a very hot day. The opposing side had a very small band of about 20 protesters who were drowned out by a sea of families and balloons.

The numbers stacked up against the bills

Even Mr Pyne admitted on social media it was a huge crowd and he couldn’t match the numbers.

The LNP, given a conscience vote, eventually decided that they would vote as a bloc against the bills for a range of reasons. Several Labor MPs bravely publicised their opposition to the bills, and the reliable Katter’s Australian Party MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth strongly opposed the reforms, as did One Nation MP Steve Dickson. This is what triggered Mr Pyne to withdraw his bills rather than see them voted down.

In summary, the campaign was about proper health care for women and encouraged MPs to rethink the issue afresh. It involved comprehensive polling, a media conference at Parliament, forums on abortion at Parliament, an Abortion Rethink rally outside Parliament, letter-writing from churches, visits to MPs, use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, letterboxing, submissions to two separate inquiries, including oral evidence hearings at Parliament, parliamentary petitions, many media releases, text messaging, prayer campaigns and the annual March for Life.

Smartphones were harnessed for their full capacity, selfie videos, tagging, sharing, commenting and liking posts got the attention of MPs and voters. The leadership in social media communications allowed for a sleepless activism that even feeding mothers immobilised on their couch at home could engage with late at night.

In the Premier’s own seat of Inala the Vietnamese community alone submitted 460 handwritten letters.

Following the withdrawal of the bills the Labor Government announced it would seek legal advice from the Queensland Law Reform Commission on how best to decriminalise abortion and promised to implement that advice if returned at the next election.

At the next state election voters will face a Labor Party promising to decriminalise abortion, a proposal likely to be similar to Labor-driven reform elsewhere: that is, abortion to full term for any reason, with no, or ineffective, restraints.

For more information check out: www.abortionrethink.org.

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