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Save Australia’s born alive aborted babies

Save Australia’s born alive aborted babies


Senate Inquiry Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2022 hearing - Canberra 8 June 2023. L-R: (Presenters in Italics): Scott McCamish (Office, Sen R. Babet),  MICHELLEOATES, Warwick Mars (Canberra Declaration) JODIE PICKARD (Love Adelaide) DR JOHNY SAKR, Clare Parslow, MATTHEW CLIFF (Cherish Life Queensland) Joel Jammal, SAMUEL HARTWICH( Canberra Declaration) Michael Arbon (Office, Sen R. Babet), Professor JOANNA HOWE, MARY COLLIER  (Right to Life Australia Inc). 

Right to Life Australia Inc was invited to give evidence at the Senate Inquiry – Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2022 held 8 July 2023 at Parliament House, Canberra.  Mary Collier, Chief Executive Officer represented Right to Life Australia Inc.   Sincere thanks to Dr Elvis Ivan Šeman MBBS, FRANZCOG, EUCOGE, FRCOG, NFPMC, PhD who appeared by video link as expert medical witness.  Thank you to the staff of Senator Babet – Scott, Michael and Merryn for their hospitality.  Other witnesses included David d'LIMA  (FamilyVoice  Australia) Wendy Francis and Michelle Pearse (Australian Christian Lobby) Juli Sharpe, (Love Adelaide) Dr Bernadette TOBIN (Plunkett Centre for Ethics).   It was inspiring to meet and work with Australia’s peak pro-life leaders on such an important bill.  Draft transcript of the hearing can be found here.

Senators attending the hearing were:  Senator Marielle Smith (Chair), Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan, Senator Alex Antic, Senator Anne Urquhart.

Mary Collier’s opening statement: Thank you for inviting us to attend today. I would like to acknowledge women who have had abortions who may be suffering and their partners as well. Abortion Grief Australia operates a helpline – and is here to help. Right to Life Australia is here to today to advocate for the voiceless, for the unborn child, who has an inalienable right to life, and that life cannot be given away to another person—to an abortionist or a person who deems their life valueless. Mother Teresa said: ‘The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.’’ So what is this bill about? It is about seeking a ‘’fair go’’ about seeking justice and about righting wrong. So, when hearing about the treatment of born-alive babies after abortion, we recoil in disbelief, whether we are writing the submission, whether we are administering the offices in parliament today or whether we're here in person or on video. It is difficult to process the concept that any baby is just left to die. Is medical treatment of a born-alive baby really determined by what is desirable and by whom?  The flow chart I have distributed today looks at Victoria under the microscope. The flow chart is contained in the Consultative Committee on Obstetrics and Paediatric Morbidity and Mortality (CCOPMM) Report 2020 - produced every year (2020 latest available report) - page 70. Read more.

The 2020 report shows 43 babies with congenital problems were born alive after abortions and died postnatally. The types of disability are not labelled. They could be babies with Down syndrome, a cleft palate or a club hand. This is the number for 2020. Does 'extremely rare' as claimed by some - mean 43 babies a year? If you look at the chart—I've marked it in highlighter—it shows the 43 babies who died perinatally in terminations of pregnancy—TOP or abortions—for suspected or confirmed congenital abnormality resulting in neonatal death.  In 2020 in Victoria, there were 43; in 2019 there were 34; in 2018 there were 29; in 2017 there were 28; in 2016 there were 33; in 2015 there were 31; in 2014 there were 38; in 2013 there were 43; in 2012 there were 53; and in 2011 there were 40 babies. Statement statements such as 'Late-term abortions are only for babies incompatible with life,' or 'They are extremely rare,' are fake news as far as we're concerned.

As I stated, babies are being aborted late term because of confirmed and now even ’suspected’’ congenital problems. The disability, from what ís seen on the label, has not even been diagnosed. Babies are being aborted for having Down syndrome, a cleft palate or maybe a club hand. These are babies who have as much a right to belong to society as each one of us. What is unknown is that late abortions are being performed for a whole range of psychosocial reasons, and this comprises 40 per cent of late-term abortions in Victoria.  This is not just about statistics. I worked in Melbourne hospitals in the late eighties where babies' lives were being saved every day, including those born to mothers who were drug addicted and from disadvantaged backgrounds and whose babies were suffering at birth from these effects. These babies were not discriminated against. Money is being allocated and raised for treatment and research into every type of neonatal illness, from congenital heart problems to the best way to bond mum and baby in the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit]. Abortion is about destruction of human life and life that is not wanted. These babies are alive. We've received calls to our office about these babies. I answered a one call - from a very distressed midwife.  She knew the baby was alive and told her story to me. This midwife was shellshocked when the baby was born alive and left to die in a Melbourne hospital in 2013.

[Page 5 of our submission highlighted the case of Baby Jessica Jane in the Northern Territory- a healthy baby weighing 515grams, who survived an abortion. This case and others no doubt highlighted today showcase the direction that we must take to the discrimination that occurs – the terrible treatment that our most vulnerable are subject to. Northern Territory Coroner Greg Cavanagh SM established Baby Jessica was fully born in a living state, in the 80 minutes she was alive, she had a separate and independent existence to her mother. Every case of a baby born alive after an abortion must be referred to the Coroner for investigation. In his words:  In my view, the fact that her birth was unexpected and not the desired outcome of the medical procedure, should not result in her, and babies like her, being perceived as anything less than a complete human being.  Similarly, the fact that her death was inevitable should also not have the same result. The old, the infirm, the sick, the terminally ill are all entitled to proper medical and palliative care and attention.   In my view, newly born unwanted and premature babies should have the same rights. The fact that her death was inevitable should not affect her entitlement to such care and attention. The deceased – [Baby Jessica] having been born alive deserved all the dignity, respect and value that our society places on human life.”]

Lastly, these babies are super babies. We should be celebrating their lives. To survive the intended destruction of their tiny bodies is a miracle. There must be legislation to right this injustice. They are entitled to care, no more but no less than any other baby born alive at that gestation. There must be legislation to protect them, as the Northern Territory Coroner stated, from a death 'contrary to nature' and 'caused by artificial means'. Will all Australians commit to seeking justice for these babies today?

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