“There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
This week, Tanya Plibersek announced Labor’s plan to further support the widespread practice of abortion in this country. The ALP is proposing that abortions should be more easily available, funded by the taxpayer, and that this should include late-term abortions, and that Federal funding to hospitals will depend on them providing abortion services.
The media is reporting support for this policy initiative from across the country, but many other Australian women and men are saddened that our society is so determined to dehumanise the most vulnerable.
What is remarkable about this announcement is that it follows the recent dreadful revelations that have been made public in the United State regarding abortion. Different State legislatures have proposed Bills that make it easier for babies to be aborted up to birth, and now, even post birth.
In January, a stomach-churning video went viral. In the State of Virginia, House Democrats were advocating a Bill that would legalise late-term abortion, just days after New York State adopted similar legislation. Kathy Tran, a Democrat delegate, responded to questions by admitting that the Bill will permit abortion even as late as when a woman has entered labor.
Kathy Tran: “My bill would allow abortion up to 40 weeks.”
Todd Gilbert: “Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth…would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion?”
Kathy Tran: “My bill would allow that, yes”.
Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam, later added at a media conference that the life of a newborn child can be legitimately ended if that is the wish of the mother and attending physician.
“If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians & mother”.
Within days, the US Senate debated a Bill to ban infanticide and thus require medical practitioners to provide medical care for infants born alive post a botched abortion. Yes, this happens, and yes, the Bill was blocked.
Labor’s policy would include public funding to cover late-term abortions, as exercised by some Australian States. Over the weekend I once again heard the suggestion that late-term abortions only occur when the mother’s life is at risk or in cases where the babies’ health is severely compromised. Let us be clear, this is not the argument used by legislators in the United States this year. The argument is, it is the mother’s right to choose abortion, even at the point of giving birth; nothing about baby or mother suffering from physical or psychological trauma.
Moreso, the data doesn’t support the hypothesis that late-term abortions are restricted to life-threatening situations. In my home State of Victoria, the Government’s own data states that 14.9% of all perinatal deaths in Victoria were accounted by abortions for “maternal psychosocial indications” (children aborted prior to 20 weeks are not included in the data). 40.32% of all late-term abortions (from 20 weeks) are for “psychosocial” reasons, meaning there is nothing wrong with the baby or physical health of the mother. Please note, these numbers include terminations that occurred in hospitals and does not include abortions that take place in clinics (which is where the majority of abortions happen).
On January 29th I wrote,
“What makes our society even more culpable than past societies is that we are committing the same sins but with greater knowledge and with greater ability. Modern knowledge reveals truths about how babies are formed in the womb, things that were once believed but could not be seen until the invention of ultrasounds. We can see the heartbeat of a baby in the earliest weeks. We can delight at a child’s fingers and toes growing at 6 weeks. We now know that babies can hear and respond to music by 16 weeks; the next Mozart is already learning to feel and marvel at the beauty of sound.
Medical advancements give us unparalleled ability to care for both mother and child, to even perform surgery on a baby while it is in the womb. When these little ones surprise us by coming into the world early we have the know-how to save the lives of these children as young as 22 weeks.
This is a grotesque reality in which we live: despite superior knowledge of human life in the womb and superior medical technology to save life, our commitment to destroying life has also increased.
I suspect some readers will respond with partial agreement; you dislike late-term abortions, but you don’t have a problem with ending a pregnancy during the first trimester. This is not an uncommon position to hold.
May I respond by asking you this question, at what point can we draw an absolute moral line? At what point can we justify the moral shift from being okay with killing the child to believing it is not okay? Is the moral threshold when the baby begins to feel pain? Is it the moment cognitive awareness starts? Is it the week when their limbs have formed? Is it the moment the heart begins to beat? There is no ontological moment during a pregnancy at which we can argue, at this stage, it is okay to abort a child.”
Instead of the news from the United States making Australian politicians reluctant, one of Australia’s major political parties announces that they will to push ahead with liberalising abortion. Indeed, the ALP is going so far as to tie funding for hospitals to abortion. Are we as a society now prepared to blackmail medical institutions into contravening conscience and to performing a procedure that is specifically aimed at killing a human life? Where else in a civilised society does a Government compel another body or institution to take the life of a human being? Is it not ethically dubious to the say least?
I have no interest in the politicising of this issue; when should a human life be determined by a vote in Parliament? I urge Tanya Plibersek and the Australian Labor Party to reconsider this policy. Included in the platform is money to support women who wish to have readier access to contraceptive methods. Great. There are viable and ethically sound alternatives to abortion. There are organisations who exist to help mums struggling with pregnancy. There are communities willing and able to assist. There is no sound reason to pursue the current course, except in the extremely rare circumstance where the mother’s life is genuinely at risk.
What a messed up society we’re creating. Scientific truth and biological facts are shunned in order to promote social agendas. We can openly and freely refuse a person’s humanity. We can end human life in the name of autonomy and personal liberation. We justify killing a generation of children in the name of genetic purification. It is truly insidious. It is all the more topsy-turvy as public policy undermines itself because it refuses to see the hypocrisy in its own sloganeering. A society cannot truly claim to believe in the equality of women while persisting in a practice that leads to the deaths of 1000s of young girls each year. The Federal Parliament has recently moved to begin a Royal Commission into the abuse of disabled people, but will they front the ideology responsible for killing 1000s of disabled Australians every year?
“Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.” (Proverbs 27:20)
Should the day come and we realise the ignominious nature of this dehumanisation project, we will look for a God who might dare forgive us, and remove the guilt that we cannot rid ourselves. The Bible speaks of such a merciful God. He is compassionate and patient, but his patience is not without end.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near ” (Isaiah 55:6)
According to reporting in The Age tonight (March 7th 7pm), Labor has reevaluated one of its major points and will now no longer expect Catholic hospitals to comply with legislation that requires all public hospitals to become providers of abortion. If correct, this is positive news but it doesn’t overturn other significant concerns