Opinion

People have forgotten God

Martyn Iles on the NSW abortion bill

During the abortion law debate in the NSW parliament, a range of amendments were proposed to improve this dreadful law.

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Each of these amendments was voted down; they were rejected by the members of the lower house.

You may ask, what were they? The answer is depressing.

The first one is of tremendous significance – an amendment to ensure that babies who are designated for abortion, but are born alive for whatever reason, are rendered medical care.

In Victoria between 2009 and 2016, there were 304 babies born alive because abortions failed. These babies were then left to slowly die on operating tables and rendered no care. Dozens faced the same fate in Western Australia. This is a nationwide reality.

The second amendment that was voted down would have required that abortions performed on children under 16 be reported to the relevant authority.

So, pregnant minors who seek abortions may not receive the necessary attention to ensure there is, for example, no sexual abuse. In fact, the bill in its current form contains provisions which could overrule the wishes of parents when an abortion is requested by their child.

A third rejected amendment would have required counselling and a 72-hour cooling-off period for any woman seeking an abortion.

Women seeking an abortion are often facing grave challenges.

An independent counsellor in those circumstances is often just what they need. Three-month post-abortive women have a three-and-half times greater incidence of clinical depression and one-fifth higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists therefore recommends comprehensive pre- and post-termination counselling for women who are aborting pregnancies.

The parliament also voted down an amendment to make it an offence to coerce someone into having an abortion. Two high-profile footballers recently had former girlfriends come out and say they were coerced. One was paid hush money. Both regretted it.

A Galaxy Poll of Queensland voters, astonishingly, revealed that more than a quarter know someone who was coerced or pressured into an abortion.

Shine the light in the darkness … remain uncompromised

Speaking of women’s rights, an amendment to ban sex selective abortion was voted down.

Melbourne doctor Mark Hobart was disciplined by the Medical Board for refusing to refer a couple for a sex-selection abortion of a baby girl. They happen.

I fear that many Australian Christians are naïve about these realities – about where society is at. Naïve about just how bad things are. People have truly forgotten God. Look how brazenly and deliberately and knowingly and carelessly otherwise respectable people are enabling this grave evil with no conscience about it.

Until we understand how far we have come, we will never act as we are called to act in dark times: to shine the light in the darkness, to remain uncompromised, to stop committing the sin of silence, and to be unashamed of the priceless truth we carry for a hurting, breaking world.

Martyn Iles is Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby

Eternity has published a variety of views on this bill here

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