PROMINENT doctors have expressed their concern about the traumatic effects of an abortion on women and their families, and for the protection of medical staff called on to carry out the “heinous” procedures.
Brisbane general practitioner Dr Katrina Neal described the proposed Queensland abortion bill as “quite gross” – something “we should all oppose in our country”.
“Although we talk a lot about unwanted pregnancies we very much need to recognise there is the issue of unwanted abortions. And it can be very, very traumatic for people, both men and women,” Dr Neal said.
“It seems to me as human beings we are unable to escape certain archetypal patterns in our psyche of our society, and one of those archetypes is the father as protector and the mother as nurturer.
“An unwanted abortion is a very primal part of ourself – both men and women.
I do believe there are too many abortions that are partly involved with domestic abuse and violence against women.
“The idea of taking abortion through to the day of birth is quite gross, I think, for everybody.
“I don’t think there are any of us who would willingly want to participate in that kind of action and it is so hard for me to comprehend in this country that this has become legal in Victoria.”
Dr Neal described the mental health implications of an abortion as “absolutely horrifying”.
“We may like to play down that it could hurt us, but it can and it does,” she said.
“There’s pressure from partners, there’s pressure from families for a child or partner to push forward with an abortion because it’s not something they really want.
“When your partner doesn’t want the baby, and the woman wants to stay with the partner, what kind of choice is she going to make?
“It is horrifying from a medical point of view that a doctor has no protection against the law if they refuse to participate in such a heinous act, and I don’t think this belongs in Australia at all.”
State Member for Moggill Dr Christian Rowan and the Opposition’s spokesperson for environment and heritage protection, said he would be voting against the abortion bill.
“What really concerns me is that women who are out there today have difficult decisions to make and are looking for advice about those things, that they are going to be potentially not getting accurate health advice support both psychologically and mentally around the things that they may or may not need to do,” Dr Rowan said. “So I am greatly concerned because there is going to be a lot of polarisation over time.
“The bill that has come forward is badly drafted, it is poorly worded.
“This is a complex and sensitive issue. I certainly don’t support change from the status quo because the highly evolved system we have at the moment has checks and balances in it.
“I talk to my parliamentary colleagues, and I will be putting my views forward forcefully in relation to this bill.”
By Mark Bowling