After two sittings into the early hours of the morning and 22 hours of intense debate, the Termination of Pregnancy Bill was passed on February 19 by the Lower House and subsequently by the Upper House where the legislation was introduced by Michele Lensink.
Jodie Pickard from Love Adelaide said while the Attorney General Vickie Chapman had spoken of “an historic day for the women of South Australia”, it would be remembered as “the point in time that SA forgot the responsibility of looking after our most vulnerable – those yet to be born”.
“We have a lot of work to do to change society and Parliament to a culture of love and life,” she said.
Archbishop Patrick O’Regan said it was “very disappointing” to see the bill passed but thanked the 15 MPs who opposed it and those who put forward important amendments, some of which were only narrowly defeated, namely Geoff Brock, Dan Cregan, Sam Duluk, Fraser Ellis, Richard Harvey, Stephan Knoll, Tom Koutsantonis, Andrea Michaels, Stephen Mullighan, Steve Murray, Stephen Patterson, Adrian Pederick, David Speirs, Vince Tarzia and Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
An amendment put forward by Mr Speirs making late term abortions permissable only in rare circumstances such as the threat to the life of the mother, was lost 26-20.
“While specific provisions were added to the legislation around the reasons for a late term abortion, the sad reality is that there is no protection or consideration for the life of the unborn baby,” Archbishop O’Regan said.
“Our priority as Christians is to continue to express our belief in the sacredness of every human life and to advocate for the rights of the unborn child, while also providing pastoral care and support for women who are faced with the difficult decision of having an abortion.
“One concession which we welcome is an amendment providing for an explicit ban on abortions for gender selection purposes.”
Other amendments passed included ensuring a duty of care to any babies born alive after attempted abortion, requiring provision of information about counselling and tightening the conscientious objection provision.
40 Days for Life Campaign leader Alan Tyson called on the pro-life movement to continue lobbying their MPs on pro-life issues and proposed a long-term initiative to encourage and support pro-life/pro-family people to run for Parliament, with the aim of eventually achieving a majority of MPs actively supporting Christian values.
Mr Tyson said it was heartening to see a very large number of young people at the recent Walk for Life rally, including many young women who gave their time as volunteers.Jump to next article