A bill to legalise abortion in Queensland is expected to be decided in a tight vote in the state’s Parliament next week. Source: The Catholic Leader.
This follows a party room meeting of the opposition Liberal National Party yesterday in which MPs voted to allow a conscience vote.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington issued a statement saying although she supports a conscience vote, she does not support the bill.
“It has been a longstanding position of the LNP Party Room that matters about the creation or ending of life are treated as matters of conscience,” she said.
“Personally, I have carefully considered the bill and I am not of a conscience to support it.”
Labor holds a slim majority in the Queensland Parliament, and with its members already committed to a conscience vote, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the parliamentary vote would come “down to the wire”.
It’s unknown how many MPs will abstain or vote against the bill.
Legislation contained in a Government-backed Termination of Pregnancy Bill would allow women to terminate pregnancies up to 22 weeks, and until birth with the permission of two doctors.
“Safe zones” of 150 metres would be enforced around abortion clinics in order to exclude protesters.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge told The Catholic Leader in August: “It’s an essentially moral issue that concerns the good of society as a whole because it touches on questions of life and death”.
Archbishop Coleridge cautioned that many women chose abortion out of desperation, believing that they had no other options, because those who support abortion did not present other choices.
“Those MPs who favour the legislation should say why they can accept that Queensland babies who may have reached 40 weeks gestation can be aborted when health isn’t a factor,” he said.
Pro-life campaigner Donna Purcell is urging Queenslanders to “write or ring” their state members in a last-ditch effort to influence the parliamentary vote against abortion.
“We’re hoping those MPs who are undecided or feel compelled for party reasons, will have a look for themselves what this (abortion bill) means,” Dr Purcell, president of Cherish Life Queensland, said.”
Abortion bill to be put to a conscience vote (The Catholic Leader)
LNP to allow its MPs a conscience vote on Queensland abortion reform (Brisbane Times)