Report into Tasmanian abortion bill released

The Report on the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2013 was tabled today and is very bad news for the unborn babies of Tasmania – it affirms all the worst aspects of the Bill.
The only restriction on terminations is that after 16 weeks a second medical practitioner has to be consulted. 16 weeks was chosen as the cut off time because that was “a bit of a middle-ground approach”. If it were 24 weeks it was thought that would “not get through,” so 16 weeks would “lower the resistance to the bill.”
The definition of termination as to “discontinue a pregnancy so that it does not progress to birth” raised concerns in relation to terminations that ended in live births. There was unresolved debate about whether the words “to birth” should be included.
Pro-life doctors argued for the wording to be returned from “consent” to “informed consent” as was in the original Bill but this was overridden.  Counsellors must refer women to abortionists if they request it, even if it is against the counsellor’s conscience.  If they do not do so, they can receive a fine of $32,500 (the fine was originally set at $65,000).
The bill criminalises abortion dissent.  It threatens counsellors and protesters with jail.  The Committee found that an amendment may be necessary to now include “nurses and midwives” in relation to conscientious objection.  In other words, midwives and nurses who refuse to be involved will no longer be able to do so.
The right to peaceful protest will be shut down, with a 300 metre wide exclusion zone around clinics.  Overnight all agencies which disagree with abortion will be forced to be shut down.  Peaceful protests will be shut down, as you can be put in jail for 12 months as well as fined.
A few other brief points:
Add midwife to nurse for those who can administer abortion drugs
The term “woman” can include 14-18 year olds
A scan/diagnosis can be done at 12 -13 weeks, so that gives enough time for an abortion
If you wish to read the report, The Examiner has placed it online: The report which was tabled today, could be debated as early as Thursday 14 November 2013, or next week Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20 or Thursday 21 November 2013.
The contact details of the Tasmanian members of the Legislative Council who will consider this heinous bill can be found at

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