PRO-life supporters have warned that a bill to decriminalise abortion in Queensland could be debated in Parliament within weeks.
“Yes it’s possible for the first of two abortion bills – the bill that would allow abortion on demand anytime for any purpose – could be debated and voted on during the last sitting week of Parliament, which starts on November 29,” Member for Cleveland Dr Mark Robinson said.
“That is even though a parliamentary committee recommended the bill not be passed.”
Dr Robinson said a committee report on the second bill was due by February 17.
He said any attempt to bring debate of that bill forward to the last sittings this year – so the two bills could be debated together – would be “an absolute abuse of parliamentary procedures”.
In a joint statement, Cherish Life Queensland vice-president Dr Donna Purcell and Australian Family Association vice-president Angela Duff said Queenslanders had little time to persuade their MPs to vote against these bills, which seek to legalise abortion for any reason until birth.
They called on pro-lifers to make an appointment now to visit their MPs this month and said details on how to do this were available at www.cherishlife.org.au or by phoning Cherish Life on 3871 2445.
“If you can’t make an appointment to see your MP before November 29, then please write him or her a letter in the meantime,” the pro-life leaders said.
“Please, urge your friends and family to do the same, and ask your priest to encourage his parish to take action now on the abortion issue by visiting or writing to their MP.”
Member for Cairns Rob Pyne introduced the two private member’s bills on abortion into Parliament earlier this year.
The first bill aims to remove abortion from the Criminal Code and the second sets abortion procedural guidelines, the establishment of 50m “safe zones” and gestation limits.
Dr Purcell and Mrs Duff urged pro-lifers to sign the parliamentary e-petition against the second Pyne abortion bill at www.cherishlife.org.au/petition.
“Please, share the petition link on Facebook and via email to friends and family and ask them to forward it to all their contacts. Let’s get the message out. Our goal is to reach 50,000 signatures,” they said.
Community opposition to the two Pyne abortion bills is significant, with almost 2500 submissions to both inquiries combined (with more than 80 per cent opposed), compared to only 20 submissions made to the parliamentary inquiry into domestic violence earlier this year.
Almost 13,000 people have signed this petition compared to more than 23,000 who had signed the first petition in 10 days in May.
By Mark Bowling