The Exclusion Zone contagion is spreading
Exclusion-zones went into force yesterday in Queensland, along with the state’s new act that moved abortion into the health code. Queensland is the fourth Australian state to enact the zones – this includes New South Wales, where abortion is still technically illegal; both territories also have the so-called ‘Safe-Access’ zones.
Pro-lifers who wish to pray outside abortion mills and offer help to the women entering them will now have to stand 150m away from the entrance or risk huge fines and potential incarceration. Graham Preston, the prominent activist who is one party in the High Court challenge to exclusion-zones, has been a vocal opponent to the zones and to the state government’s hypocrisy in reforming abortion law. He drew attention to a clause in the Queensland government’s recent Human Rights bill: (taken from Graham’s email newsletter)
Whatever other issues this Bill may have, it is certainly breathtakingly hypocritical. The preamble talks about the Parliament of Queensland recognising:
“1 The inherent dignity and worth of all human beings.
2 The equal and inalienable human rights of all human beings.”
Then there are clauses
“16 Right to life
Every person has the right to life and has the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of life
26 Protection of families and children
(2) Every child has the right, without discrimination, to the protection that is needed by the child, and is in the child’s best interests, because of being a child.”
But the hypocrisy becomes clear when you get to clause 106:
Act does not affect laws about termination of pregnancy
Nothing in this Act affects any law relating to termination of pregnancy or the killing of an unborn child” (!!)
This Bill excludes only one group – and without any attempt at justification – from the circle of human rights protection, the children before birth. Clearly the drafters of this human rights Bill recognised that the recently passed Termination of Pregnancy Act would contravene the human rights of the unborn child so they avoided that problem by simply declaring that the unborn are excluded from the Bill.
In my submission on the Bill (only a few weeks were given for people to make submissions and that period has now closed) I asked what respect would anyone have if in 1850 in Alabama a Human Rights Bill had been put forward that specifically left laws allowing slavery to go untouched. It is equally absurd that this Queensland human rights bill specifically leaves laws allowing the killing of unborn babies to go untouched. The Bill must be rejected.
[Photographs below: pro-life prayer in Melbourne and Sydney. Second picture courtesy Giovanni Portelli and FLI]
Apparently, now that abortion is legal in Queensland, South Australia is feeling left out and wants to ‘get with the times.’ Greens LC, Tammy Franks, introduced a bill today that would remove abortion from the criminal code, and – you guessed it – create 150m exclusion zones around abortion mills to ensure that no child is rescued from abortion. Ironically, Ms Franks claims that reforming abortion law will mean that abortion becomes ‘regulated just like any other medical procedure.’ But nothing could be further from the truth, on two counts: one, abortion is the least regulated medical procedure. Women aren’t given the complete picture about what abortion entails – there is no ultrasound, never a complete disclosure of the emotional after-effects and doctors don’t provide a complete discussion of coercion or of alternatives to aborting their patients’ babies. And two, abortion is never an ordinary medical procedure. As Irish TD, Carol Nolan says, “Real healthcare does not have a victim.”
Ms Franks believes SA’s laws are ‘out of date’, since women must have lived in the state for two months before being able to access an abortion. Franks claims this disadvantages international students. One wonders how high the numbers of young women in this situation must be, to warrant a complete overhaul of abortion law. One wonders, also, how prevalent are the incidents of ‘harassment’ and ‘intimidation’ of women entering abortion mills or whether, as in other states and countries around the world, there is little evidence of that kind of activity.
In fact, it was only in May of this year that SA’s Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, said: “I am not aware of any case of that happening”[in South Australia] and “nobody has raised their concerns that they have been threatened or impeded as a health worker.”
Don’t think the medical world is unbiased
It would appear that there is little hope of unbiased reporting to be had anywhere – even in medical journals. The November edition of AustralianDoctor, sent to me by a supporter, featured an article on our High Court challenge to exclusion-zones, and how this poses a threat to concerned abortionists everywhere. Concerned – perhaps not so much for the welfare of their patients, and certainly not for the welfare of their patients’ offspring – but for their declining revenues when mothers accept help from sidewalk advocates.
The article included a lengthy statement from abortionist Philip Goldstone, medical director of Marie Stopes Australia, who claimed that he had been abused many times by pro-life activists. Goldstone claimed that he had been told “on a weekly basis” that he was going to hell. He also claimed, wrongly that pro-lifers believe abortion to be an “unforgivable sin.” This is probably the most damaging kind of propaganda out there: women and men, and even abortionists, need to hear that the sin of abortion can be forgiven. All that is necessary is repentance and a firm commitment to sin no more.
The article contained no statements from pro-life medical professionals, or post-abortion counsellors or medical staff who had cared for mothers who changed their minds about having an abortion. Instead, Goldstone was free to vent his spleen over unproven accusations of verbal abuse by sidewalk advocates. He reiterated one of his favourite, but incorrect, analogies – that women who received breast enhancement are no different from women seeking to have their children killed.
Goldstone fails to point out that the former is merely a matter of a woman’s choice, whereas the latter procedure involves three parties: the mother, the father and their pre-born child. But then, it’s hardly surprising that someone who kills babies for a living would completely dehumanise those babies by comparing them to a piece of silicone.
Editor, The Freedoms Project
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