The Upper House of the SA Parliament has passed a bill to remove Abortion from the criminal law, placing it under health legislation. The bill is now before the Lower House.
If the bill is passed, there will be no legal rights for the unborn child, nor for doctors who on conscience grounds choose not to cooperate in abortions. This new bill is described as “modernising” the law, and “bringing SA into line with the other states”.
Here in South Australia, abortion is freely available, up to 28 weeks of the baby’s development. This bill is a radical departure, whereby abortion will be available up to birth. If the baby is healthy, and viable outside the uterus, this will no longer prevent an abortion being carried out. The only criterion is two doctors declaring it “medically appropriate”; and this term is not well defined in the bill.
At a time when babies delivered from around 23 weeks have a significant chance of survival, it is hard to understand how anyone could justify late-term abortions of healthy babies.
Our state needs better government support services for women facing unexpected or unwanted pregnancies, to enable them to deliver their babies.
As a diocese, we are committed to providing practical care and love for women and girls in our
region who face unexpected or unwanted pregnancies. We are well aware that there are many
women in our region who have undergone an abortion, we are not here to judge our fellow human beings, but we have a strong sense of responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless.
The first and most important duty of Parliament is to protect the life of its citizens. We need to remind our political representatives of this. I strongly encourage the people of God from our Diocese to contact their Local State Members, urging them to use their conscience vote to reject this Bill.