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Reforms to abortion law were introduced into the WA Parliament yesterday (Bigstock)

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says moves by the West Australian Government to make access to abortion easier will be “distressing” for many people. Source: Perth Archdiocese.

“The conviction that abortion brings to an end the life of a completely innocent and defenceless unborn human person lies at the heart of this distress. Life is simply too precious to be destroyed in this way,” Archbishop Costelloe said. 

“This is certainly the position of the Catholic Church: it is one which is shared by many who belong to other religious traditions and by people who hold no religious beliefs.”

Reforms aimed at streamlining access to abortion and bringing the laws into line with other states were introduced into the WA Parliament by the Cook Government yesterday, ABC News reported. 

If passed, the legislation would remove the need for women to be referred for an abortion by a doctor, remove a requirement for mandatory counselling and see abortion moved out of WA’s criminal code. It would also force doctors who “conscientiously object” to abortions to refer patients to doctors who offer abortions. 

“To force a doctor, by law, to refer a patient to a medical practitioner whom the doctor knows will agree to perform the abortion, is to force the doctor to be complicit in a procedure which she or he believes to be immoral,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“Secular societies which truly believe in fundamental human rights do not seek to force people to act in violation of their ethical or religious beliefs,” he said.

“We should be very wary of judging or condemning anyone who seeks an abortion.

“As a community, however, we might do better to consider how we can rebuild our society in such a way as to make more life-giving and life-affirming options available to those who find the realisation that they are pregnant such a distressing and alarming experience”.


Response to WA Government’s Proposed Abortion Legislation (Perth Archdiocese) 

WA’s abortion laws are set for a major overhaul. Here’s everything you need to know (By Keane Bourke, ABC News)