Family First bill aims to wind back abortion in SA
Family First introduced a bill in the South Australian parliament last week that could reduce the number of abortions performed in that state.
The party’s Amendment of the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 requires doctors to provide information about the alternative options of adoption and foster care available to women who are seeking an abortion.
Family First’s SA parliamentary leader Dennis Hood told Parliament: “It is important that women seeking abortion have the information regarding these alternatives made available to them. In jurisdictions where laws like this one have been introduced, the abortion rate has dropped substantially.
“This bill is not unusual or radical. Informed consent laws, as they have been called (as I would consider this) are incredibly common worldwide. In fact, I believe South Australia would currently be in an absolute minority of jurisdictions in not mandating the information required to be provided to mothers seeking abortion.
“In Germany, counselling is required by law and is, in fact, designed to protect the unborn life. Although it is, to a degree, a politically left leaning country, in Germany a counsellor is required to inform the woman seeking an abortion that the unborn have a right to life and, in fact, will try to convince the mother to continue with the pregnancy.
“In France, a physician must inform the woman about the risks of the abortion procedure. Women are also provided with a guide to the types of government and community assistance provided to mothers and their children. There is also a section in the guide informing the woman of the adoption process should she decide to proceed with the pregnancy.
“In Belgium, again, there is similarly mandated information that must be provided to women seeking an abortion, detailing assistance and benefits guaranteed by the law to families and children, as well as information on the possibility of adopting the child. Belgian doctors are also required to provide assistance and advice to assist in the resolution of any psychological or social problems being faced by the mother seeking an abortion.
“In the United States, 32 states have rules requiring various levels of informed consent, starting with unbiased information to be provided by some alternatives (such as my proposal), all the way to providing ultrasounds to the mother of the unborn child and providing detail information regarding the risks inherent in the abortion procedure. Five states even require doctors to inform women that the state favours childbirth over abortion,” Mr Hood said.
Later, Mr Hood said that this bill is just the first of a series of legislative measures aimed at bringing down SA’s very high abortion rates that Family First will introduce.
“Many abortions, it seems, are due to women being pushed into the process by someone, whether it be a partner or some sort of conveyor-belt type mentality in some institutions, or simply a lack of knowledge of the alternatives.
“Members may complain about this proposal and say that, of course, women would be aware of the alternatives already. The fact that 50 per cent of women in the UK thought they had no other alternatives I believe completely rebuts that argument,” Mr Hood told Parliament.