Support grows for ‘born-alive’ abortion bill in Australia

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Support is growing for a bill seeking to protect babies born alive after abortions in Australia.

The private members’ bill was introduced in the Australian House of Representatives on June 21 by George Christensen, a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland.

Christensen, the federal member for the Division of Dawson in Queensland, northeastern Australia, has asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to support the adoption of the bill or to allow a conscience vote on it.

The bill, known as the Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2021, would require medical practitioners to save the lives of children who survive abortions.

According to a preamble to the bill on Christensen’s website, “If they do not act to save the child they will face significant financial penalty and probable deregistration as a medical practitioner.”

The preamble explained that the bill sought to give effect “to international agreements with which Australia is a signatory, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

“Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child dictates that, ‘State parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life,’” it said.

Christensen’s website said that in the state of Victoria in 2016, 33 of 310 babies aborted after 20 weeks were born alive. In the state of Queensland, it said, 204 babies were born alive after abortions between 2005 and 2015, but none appeared to have received life-saving medical care.

The Guardian newspaper reported on July 5 that the Australian Catholic Medical Association had asked its members to support the bill.

The association did not respond by press time to CNA’s request for comment on the bill.

Vincent Connelly, a Liberal Party MP representing the Division of Stirling in Western Australia, is among the bill’s supporters.

Connelly said that he was shocked to hear of the deaths of hundreds of babies after surviving abortions.

“New South Wales is the only State or Territory to have established guidelines for the care of babies born following an abortion attempt. Others are not even required to keep or report relevant statistics,” he wrote.

“However, the Federal Government may well be able to legislate in this regard.”

He said that the bill was unlikely to succeed without “sufficient internal government and public lobbying.”

Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for the charity Right To Life UK spokesperson, said in February that resistance to the bill would reveal the truth about abortion.

“It is not about the right ‘not to be pregnant.’ If that were the case then, following an abortion where the baby is born alive, care could be provided to the child,” she commented.

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“The very fact that medical care is not provided and that these children are left to die reveals that the whole purpose of the abortion is to end the life of the child, and not simply that the child’s mother not be pregnant.”

“Mr. Christensen put it best when he said: ’Young babies are dying across this country and it needs to stop.’”

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