Action Alert November 2010

This is an archived edition of Action Alert.

More Pressure To Legalise Abortion in Queensland

In 2009, a young couple in Cairns were charged under the provisions of the Queensland Criminal Code, written in 1899, with abortion-related offences. Ms Tegan Leach was charged under Section 225 of the Code for “procuring her own abortion”, and Mr Sergei Brennan, her partner, was charged under Section 226 for “supplying drugs or instruments to procure an abortion”. The couple had allegedly imported misoprostol from the Ukraine, and Ms Leach had allegedly taken the drug – without medical instruction or supervision – to abort a child that she claimed to be carrying. However, no doctor had ever examined Ms Leach to confirm that she was actually pregnant at the time that she took misoprostol.

The trial of Mr Brennan and Ms Leach began in the Cairns District Court on Monday 11 October 2010 before Judge Bill Everson. By Thursday 14 October, the jury retired to consider its verdict, and, within one hour, returned to announce its decision – “Not Guilty!” The key piece of evidence had been the testimony of Professor Nicholas Fisk, an obstetrics expert from the University of Queensland, who testified that RU486 – misoprostol is one component of RU486 – had virtually no complications and would not be harmful to a woman or cause her to suffer any ill side-effects. Of course, RU486 would be harmful to a pre-born child, but there was no proof legally that Ms Leach had actually been with child when she took the misoprostol. So Judge Everson instructed the jury to only consider whether the drug Ms Leach allegedly took would have been “noxious” to her, rather than whether it would have been “noxious” to a pre-born child that she may have been carrying. With no legal proof that Ms Leach had been with child, and with expert testimony that misoprostol was not “noxious” to a woman, the jury could reach no other verdict than “Not Guilty”.

However, Professor Fisk’s testimony failed to mention that, around the world, complications following a RU486-initiated abortion have resulted in the deaths of a number of women. In Australia, although there have been no women who have died after have a RU486-initiated abortion, there have been 110 reported cases of adverse side-effects in women who have had an abortion by this method. Some 3,000 abortions by this chemical method have occurred in Australia since 2006, when the authority to import the drug from overseas manufacturers was removed from the Federal Minister of Health and given to the TGA (Therapeutic Drug Administration). By the end of 2009, eighty-one doctors in Australia had gained authorisation to administer RU486, and were reporting 110 cases of “adverse effects” such as “the retention of placenta remains” and other “products of conception”. These complications required further medical treatment, which, if not given, would certainly have had a “noxious” effect on the women involved. This information was not mentioned by Professor Fisk in his testimony, and in light of the fact that Ms Leach allegedly self-administered misoprostol without any medical supervision, she was potentially placing herself in situation in which she could have suffered harm (assuming, of course, that she had actually been pregnant at the time).

Pro-abortion activists have used the publicity surrounding this case to intensify their push for the decriminalisation of abortion-on-demand in Queensland. They are claiming that Queensland’s Criminal Code is outdated and society’s views about abortion have changed since 1899. At least one of the pro-abortion lobby groups initiated a campaign to contact every Queensland parliamentarian – regardless of party affiliation – by email and telephone up to six times per day to urge the introduction of a private member’s bill to legalise abortion. Fortunately, Premier Anna Bligh (who personally favours the legalisation of abortion) and Deputy Premier (and Health Minister) Paul Lucas have indicated that the Labor Government does not intend to introduce legislation on this issue. A spokesman for the Opposition has likewise indicated that Liberal National Party has no plans to raise the issue in parliament. However, there is still a risk that an individual parliamentarian might be persuaded to introduce a private member’s bill.
If you live in Queensland, contact your local State parliamentarian to express your view that abortion-on-demand should not be legalised and that the current provisions in the Criminal Code ought to be retained. If you do not know the name and contact details of your State MP, go to www.parliament.qld.gov.au, click on Legislative Assembly, and then on Current Members. This will give a list of members and their contact information.

Also, whether you live in Queensland or not, contact Hon Anna Bligh, Premier and Minister for the Arts [PO Box 15185, City East, Qld, 4002 or email to premier@ministerial.qld.gov.au] to express the view that the abortion-on-demand allows for the legalised killing of pre-born human beings. Point out that medical science has confirmed that the pre-born child is a separate human being – not just foetal tissue – and that ultrasound technology has allowed a ‘window’ into the womb to reveal a very human pre-born child moving, resting, smiling, sucking his / her thumb, and so on. The pre-born child is fully human!

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Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?
Psalm 94:16

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This monthly release is prepared by Pastor Brian Robertson (P O Box 2367, Bundaberg, 4670) to inform Christian people about issues within our society.  “Action Alert” does not promote any one political party, but encourages its readers to be “salt and light” by speaking out on some of these matters.  The views expressed in “Action Alert” are those of the author and are not necessarily those of a local church or a denominational organisation.  To the extent permissible by law, no church or denomination accepts liability for anything contained in this publication and any use made of it.