September 22nd 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Water, water everywhere, but not for the farmers

EDITORIAL Power companies in clover after closures

CANBERRA OBSERVED Liberals in need of an internal peacemaker

ENERGY Solar, wind dependence will add $1300 to power bills, engineers, scientists warn

LIFE ISSUES Queensland life march busts media stereotypes

ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS Unmask activists disguised as nature lovers

FOREIGN AFFAIRS China takes up challenge to imitate and overtake America

CHINA AND AUSTRALIA Paul Monk thunders at kowtowing former pollies

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Hawaii: Pearl of the Pacific

BOOK EXCERPT From Patrick J. Byrne's book, Transgender: One Shade of Grey

FREE SPEECH University of Western Australia blinks again

LIFE ISSUES Queensland law will open floodgates to sex-selective abortion

HUMOUR

MUSIC Pop and singing: A certain antagonism

CINEMA Christopher Robin: The best something comes from nothing

BOOK REVIEW A so-called industry with only a dark side

BOOK REVIEW Population see-saw changes direction

LETTERS

POETRY

EUTHANASIA No concoction can kill peacefully

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LIFE ISSUES
Queensland law will open floodgates to sex-selective abortion


by Jean Seah

News Weekly, September 22, 2018

On Wednesday August 22, yet another abortion bill was tabled in Queensland Parliament. It proposes to allow abortion until 22 weeks of gestation for any reason whatsoever (section 5, Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018), and abortion after that up to full term if two medical practitioners agree it is necessary for the woman’s “current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances” (section 6).

This bill has disturbed even pro-choice people, who recognise that 22 weeks or 5½ months is an advanced stage of pregnancy, when the fetus is clearly human. In fact, according to an Oxford University study published two years ago, the human heart begins to beat at 16 days.

Table: Abortion Rethink

The legalisation of abortion for “social circumstances” is outrageous, particularly in the wake of worrying reports of sex-selective abortions in immigrant communities here in Australia, mirroring the gender imbalances in their countries of origin. On August 12, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a study of more than a million births in Victoria revealed that “systematic discrimination against females starts in the womb”, particularly in Chinese, Indian and South-East Asian communities.

Late-term abortions

Late-term abortions have been on the rise in Victoria. Real Choices Australia reported in 2009: “From a total of 410 post-20-week abortions, 210 were performed on physically healthy babies, with 10 of these undertaken after 28 weeks, a time when these babies could have been safely delivered alive and the psychosocial concerns of their mothers addressed.

“Over a 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, late-term abortions in Victoria grew from 66 to 410, with more than half of these being undertaken for psychosocial reasons in every year since 2004 (2007 being an exception). The 2009 figures show an even more disturbing increase: that is, the number of very late-term abortions on healthy, viable babies for maternal psychosocial reasons.

“Most of the general public continue to believe that late-term abortions are only undertaken when women are seriously ill and their lives are threatened, or when their babies have no hope of survival and will die a more horrific death if allowed to come to term.

“Neither of these is true.”

Cultural gendercide

As a Chinese female, this hits home to me. I was conceived in an unplanned and difficult pregnancy, and delivered prematurely via Caesarean section when my mother suffered pre-eclampsia.

My grandmother was born into a poor peasant family in southern China before communism and the one-child policy; yet even then females were discriminated against, and it was only her family’s Catholic faith that saved her and her five sisters from infanticide.

They often went hungry – she spoke of how she would drink water to fill her tummy while she guarded their sheep from tigers, envious of her brother who, being male, was able to go to school. Yet, she and her sisters all grew up to have their own families, who are prospering in Singapore. She had seven children, including my mother, who is a lawyer.

My niece, too, would likely have been aborted in a traditional Chinese family. Born in the Year of the Tiger, she would have been unwanted for bringing bad luck to the family with her supposedly inborn fierce and wild temperament.

This may seem absurd to people of other cultures, but the Chinese zodiac does affect birth rates. I happened to be born in the Year of the Dragon, the most auspicious year, when there was a baby boom. The BBC reported that “in 2011 and 2012, prospective parents in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore admitted to consciously timing their pregnancy for a dragon year”.

At the same time, East Asians have traditionally reckoned our age from conception – we are considered one year old when we are born (rounded up for ease).

A baby born in an unfortunate year can be expected to face more challenges than others, because of societal prejudices; in Taiwan, job aspirants are selected according to their zodiac sign, as an indicator for whether they will work harmoniously with their employers.

In Queensland, 137,019 Chinese were counted in the last census. Do we want to entrench such outdated and discriminatory attitudes towards girls in Australia? Queensland already has 10,000-14,000 abortions each year under current law, which allows for abortions “when a doctor believes a woman’s physical and/or mental health is in serious danger”.

There is a Facebook group with 659 members for “Gender Selection in Australia”; there is another with 317 members entitled “Complete My Family – Gender Selection For Australians”.

The former declares: “This group is to show the Ethics Committee that women and men alike want to see the law making it illegal to have pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) done here in Australia overturned.”

Well formed by tenth week

You can detect the sex of your child at 10 weeks of gestation. The vital organs have formed by this stage, and you can hear his heartbeat. Is sex selection ethical in any way?

We see from the recent Brock Wall case that, in accordance with section 313 of the Queensland Criminal Code, a 10-week-old fetus is rightly considered as a human being capable of being murdered. In this case, the mother was murdered for refusing to abort her child. Would it be just under a new law to dismiss the child’s existence, as a mere “product of conception”?

At the March for Life on September 1, Dr David van Gend noted that, in Queensland, babies who die at 20 weeks of gestation are issued both birth and death certificates.

In rural Queensland, 40 maternity wards have been closed in the last 20 years, with the ALP being in power for 17 of those years. Yet, in the last month, the ALP has seen fit to spend $100,000 of tax dollars on a dog weight-loss app. Does this Government really have our best interests at heart?

The bill will be debated in Parliament in the week of October 16. In this short span of time, please meet with, call, or post a letter to your local Member of Parliament to stand up for pre-born children without a voice.




























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