Editor’s note: This special edition of NSW News is being sent out due to the urgency of the issue under discussion. The NSW Parliament has before it a bill to decriminalise abortion which was attempted to be rammed through Parliament with little consideration of its content. Fortunately a few members of the Government became aware of it and were successful in getting consideration of the bill deferred for one week but another vote is set down for this coming week. Urgent prayer and action is therefore required if this bill is to be defeated.
Religious leaders will lobby MPs ahead of a vote to decriminalise abortion, after the historic bill was this week introduced into NSW Parliament with support from across the political spectrum. Independent MP Alex Greenwich introduced the bill on Thursday, urging MPs to no longer delay reforms and act to remove abortion from the criminal code. “The law surrounding terminations is no longer fit for purpose and needs to be modernised,” he said. But MPs are expecting to be inundated from pro-choice and anti-abortion groups before the bill, which has an unprecedented 15 co-sponsors, is debated and voted this coming week.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian was forced to delay a vote on it after pressure from conservative MPs, including Finance Minister Damien Tudehope who described the bill as “unjust and illiberal”. Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies and the new Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Makarios Griniezakis will urge MPs to consider serious holes in the bill. “This bill allows late-term abortions up to a week before birth, indeed, a day before birth,” Dr Davies said. “When people realise that, I can’t believe for the life of me that these respected parliamentarians would ever put their name to a bill which would kill an unborn baby the day before birth.
“And I don’t think anyone in NSW would think that is a good idea and why they would promote a bill like this beggars belief in my view” Dr Davies continued. Archbishop Makarios has written to parishioners saying “we also personally beseech the honourable Members of Parliament to express their opposition to the bill and support vulnerable pregnant mothers by offering other alternatives to abortion”. The Presbyterian Church of NSW has also said it is deeply concerned about the bill. But Health Minister Brad Hazzard, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the very late termination of a pregnancy would be more unlikely under the proposed legislation than under existing laws.
Mr Hazzard said. “The legislation makes it stricter going forward after 22 weeks because it requires two doctors to consider whether or not it is appropriate for the patient. Currently that doesn’t apply.” Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce weighed into the debate on Thursday, using the example of his infant son to attack the NSW Parliament over the bill. Mr Joyce, who welcomed his second baby with former staffer Vikki Campion in June, said the state MPs were debating whether the child was “subhuman” before his umbilical cord was cut.
“The hour of birth is an arbitrary point in modern medicine,” the member for New England told the federal Parliament on Thursday. “Tom had rights, even though he was not conscious of them. They should not be removed by a parliament.” Mr Greenwich said under the present laws, the threat of conviction could “create fear and stigma for women wanting an abortion and reluctance by health practitioners to provide services”. “The threat of prosecution of women and health care professionals is real,” he said. “As recently as August 2017, a Blacktown mother of five was prosecuted for self-administering a drug to cause a miscarriage.”
Christians are being urged to contact their local member of State Parliament to express their opposition to the termination of a living human being within days of being born, clearly a case of the taking of human life. For those who are aborted earlier in the pregnancy, but where the baby is still alive, it will be put aside and left to die.
- that those “quiet Australians” opposed to abortion will be stirred into action to contact their own member of Parliament to express their disquiet at the provisions included in the proposed Bill which include the termination of life well after the baby could sustain life outside of the womb.
- giving thanks for those politicians who have already expressed publicly their opposition to the proposed legislation and praying that many others, when they fully understand the contents of the legislation, will join them in voting against the bill.
- that the bill will be rejected outright and not simply amended to take out the most contentious parts of it.
Source: Compiled by APN from Media Reports