PRO-life advocates gathered outside Queensland Parliament House last weekend for one final protest against the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s abortion bill, which was to be voted on in parliament this week.
A conscience vote would determine whether or not women could terminate their pregnancies up to 22 weeks, and until birth with the permission of two doctors.
Member for Moggill Dr Christian Rowan spoke to the large crowd, declaring he would vote no to the legislation, and warned that abortion was a complex and challenging issue.
“As a specialist physician, treating or assisting patients with a range of alcohol and/or drug-dependency conditions, you can all well imagine some of the difficult and complex clinical situations I have seen with respect to unwanted pregnancies that have arisen via sexual assault, rape, incest and/or criminal gang-related violence,” he said.
“The legislation is not in the true interests of women’s health and does not afford adequate conscientious objection rights to both clinical and non-clinical staff.”
Contentious issues like mandatory counselling, cooling-off periods and ensuring domestic violence coercion had been properly assessed, had not been explicitly addressed within the legislation, Dr Rowan said.
He said the parliamentary committee process was “flawed” and he called it a “farce”.
“Before considering legislative reform to decriminalise abortion, strengthened safeguards and enhanced checks and balances need to be in place to ensure due diligence and accountability with respect to women’s health and their clinical care,” he said.
“To decriminalise and remove Termination of Pregnancy from the criminal code, within the context of an already fundamentally flawed and loose clinical system without ensuring appropriate safeguards and proper checks and balances is an abdication of responsibility of any government to the welfare of its citizens and future generations.”
Dr Rowan urged Queenslanders to become more politically active.
“Regardless of the outcome … you must remember that elections matter.
“Who you put in to the Queensland Parliament matters. Who you put in to the Australian Parliament matters.”