I appeal for a respectful debate concerning abortion and I urge MPs to use their conscience vote to reject this bill. It is not appropriate to rush this bill without widespread community consultation.
Abortion is available in New South Wales and the criminal code provisions have not prevented women from seeking abortions. Rather, the law strengthens the protection of women from pressure, medical malpractice and safeguards the consciences of doctors. In the rare cases that criminal sanctions have been applied, it was clear the circumstances warranted prosecution.
Further, the laws are being proposed at a time when those who wish to speak against abortion, including many women, are being denied that opportunity.
In particular, signs sponsored by the Emily’s Voice group were recently ordered off buses for simply stating a medical fact – that an unborn child’s heart is beating at four weeks.
When has a democratic society prevented the publication of facts?
A respectful debate needs to hear all sides of the issue, including those who wish to speak on behalf of those yet to be born.
– Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney