This week we received two letters on the highly divisive abortion legislation. It is such an important discussion we decided to run both letters in full
Why the rush?
Last week, the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 was passed in the NSW Lower House. If it is also passed in the Upper House next week, the rights and protection that are currently afforded to unborn babies will be removed absolutely.
Under the new legislation, the life of an unborn baby can be terminated right up until the point of birth. Don't be fooled, that is exactly what this new legislation will allow.
Many are rightfully angry that this legislation has been forced upon Parliament without adequate time for all aspects of this bill to be thoroughly examined. It is far too important a matter to be rushed and the people of NSW need time to consider the implications of this legislation and to make sure that their representatives in Parliament are putting forward the wishes of their electorate and not their own personal agendas.
I am respectfully asking everyone who is concerned about this matter and the way in which it is being handled to email the members of the Legislative Council and call upon them to reject this bill when it comes up for discussion next week. There is little time but very good reason to do this.
As it stands, the new legislation will allow pregnancies up to 22 weeks to be terminated for any reason including a preferred gender. After 22 weeks, provided that two specialist medical practitioners agree, the life of the unborn can be terminated right up to full term, even if the baby is perfectly healthy. This is being put forward under the guise of "reproductive rights" but one has to ask "what about the rights of the unborn baby?"
At the same time this debate was played out in the lower house, the Upper House discussed a different bill referred to as "Zoe's Law". This bill before the Legislative Council stands in stark contrast to the bill passed in the Legislative Assembly by seeking to recognise and place value on the life of unborn children.
Currently, in NSW if a woman is assaulted or harmed in any way so that her unborn baby loses its life, the death of the unborn child is not recognised by law. Examples were cited before Parliament, including one incident where a drugged driver caused the death of a baby who was only one month from being born and the loss of this child's life could not be taken into account as the law did not recognise her as a person. The baby's name was Zoe, she should have been 10 years old now.
Another example given was a shocking case of domestic violence where a woman miscarried after being beaten and stood on by her 112 kilogram boyfriend and again, the death of the unborn child was not taken into account.
I find it almost beyond belief that one house of our Parliament is discussing a bill that is aimed at protecting pregnant women and their unborn babies while in the other house a bill was being passed that strips the unborn of any legal protection they currently have.
Many consider the existing laws to be adequate as they already make provision for women to lawfully terminate a pregnancy but also provide protection for the unborn.
According to the Family Planning NSW (Reproduction and Sexual Health) Fact Sheet, NSW law allows a lawful abortion if the doctor believes that the physical or mental health of the mother is in serious danger by continuing the pregnancy. Factors such as social and family situation, finances and health are taken into consideration. Situations where pregnancies occur as a result of rape or incest fall well within these parameters. After 20 weeks pregnancies can still be terminated if there are serious medical reasons.
To bring everything into context, passing Zoe's Law should be a no brainer but it has been under discussion for over two years while, on the other hand, the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 has been pushed through in a matter of weeks.
We need laws that protect those who cannot protect or speak for themselves. Every unborn child's life is valuable and that should be reflected in our laws. Anything less and we fail as a community.
If you feel that this matter deserves much deeper consideration, I would urge you to do as I have done and write to every Minister of the Legislative Council and call upon them to reject this bill next week.
Bob Cotton, Maitland Christian Church
BLESSING, NOT A BURDEN
I'm writing regarding Jenny Aitchison's comment on the majority vote to decriminalise abortion that was "amazing and such a sense of relief".
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper also chimes in with his opinion that to "view abortion through the lens of health care instead of crime just makes sense". I'm glad they think terminating a child makes sense!
These MPs who suppose to represent us all do not thankfully speak for us all. MPs think the choices of women are more important than that of an innocent, healthy growing foetus.
There are some cases where medically it's ethical and logical to terminate due to harm to the mother or in the case of rape. But if it is for gender selection or a one night stand gone wrong, then it's for selfish reasons and is a criminal act in my opinion. A child is a blessing not a burden.
To think it's acceptable to terminate a foetus up to 22 weeks ... even if two doctors do agree, it's still wrong. It's ending a living, breathing, growing human being's life. Humans today remove anything that is not planned, perfect or politically correct. I cringe at the world we are leaving the next generations. These MP's instead of patting themselves on the back should be hanging their heads in shame.