Australian lawmakers delayed a vote on a radical pro-abortion bill Tuesday after pro-life advocates led a massive protest in downtown Sydney.
Thousands of pro-life advocates gathered in the New South Wales city to urge politicians to protect the rights of unborn babies in their state, according to The Guardian.
Many carried signs encouraging society to “Love Them Both,” “Choose Life” and “Stand for Life.” The message “Choose life” also was written in the sky as pro-life advocates flooded Macquarie Street.
Abortion activists in the state are trying to ram through a radical pro-abortion bill that would allow abortions for basically any reason up to birth, including sex-selection abortions. The bill passed the lower house of parliament earlier this month, just days after pro-abortion lawmakers introduced it.
On Tuesday, however, the upper house of parliament agreed to delay a vote on the bill until Sept. 17, likely due to the overwhelming public outrage, according to the report.
Pro-life lawmakers said the bill does not provide meaningful protections for viable, late-term unborn babies or prevent sex-selection abortions. They also complained about pro-abortion political leaders pushing through the bill without time to consider public comment, legal analyses and other concerns.
Upper House MP [Liberal Matthew Mason-Cox] said the process so far had been “improper” and puts the blame at the feet of the Premier.
“The Government leadership made a decision to fast-track this bill, the fix was on from the very start to get it out of the way,” he said.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful.
“I have called, as many members have, for a proper process and we have been denied it time and time again.”
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Liberal MP Tanya Davies, a leading pro-life advocate, said the pro-abortion bill has led to a “crisis of government.” Last week, she introduced an amendment to ban sex-selection abortions in the bill, but it failed to pass.
Abortion activists claim there is no evidence that sex-selection abortions would occur in New South Wales, but this is not true.
An “@SBSRadio investigation from 2015 revealed gender selective abortions are occurring in Australia, how can @nsw_upperhouse MPs allow this to continue?” Right to Life Australia wrote on Twitter, linking to the study.
Pro-life leaders’ efforts have been met with harassment and death threats. Police charged two people last week for allegedly making death threats against pro-life MPs and a third for allegedly spitting on a peaceful pro-life protester.
Australian news outlets report the upper house will continue to debate the bill this week, but its leaders will not call for a vote until mid-September.
Pro-life organizations, Catholic Church leaders and others have been working hard to stop the dangerous bill from becoming law. Roman Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney recently sent a letter to state Premier Gladys Berejiklian, asking her to delay the debate.
“The bill is a bad one,” Fisher wrote in the joint letter with other religious leaders. “It will allow abortion right up to birth if two doctors agree. It is yet another attack upon the rights of people of faith.”
“It is the dream bill of the abortion industry, which they have already pressed upon several other states; but it will leave unborn children and unsupported pregnant women even more at risk,” he continued.
Fisher encouraged all Catholics to speak out against the radical pro-abortion bill and pray for unborn babies and mothers in crisis.
If it passes the upper house, the bill would legalize abortion up to the point of birth with virtually no restrictions. It is similar to radical pro-abortion laws that passed in New York, Illinois, Vermont and Rhode Island earlier this year in the U.S.
Jonathan Abbamonte with the Population Research Institute described the bill in greater detail:
The abortion bill itself would legalize abortion on demand up to 22 weeks gestation. After 22 weeks, abortion would be permitted with the consent of two doctors after considering “all relevant medical circumstances,” including all “physical, psychological and social circumstances,” both “current and future.”
Abortion is currently illegal in New South Wales except in cases to save the life of the mother, and in cases of physical and mental health. However, in 1995, the NSW Supreme Court reinterpreted the “mental health” exception to include “economic or social stress” that may result either “during pregnancy or after birth.”
The circumstances under which doctors would be authorized to approve of an abortion after 22 weeks under the newly proposed bill are exceptionally broad.
Under the proposal, doctors would be able to approve an abortion after 22 weeks even for light reasons like work-related stress, financial stress, still in school, the fear of their parents finding out that she is pregnant, or even simply the psychological ‘duress’ of carrying a pregnancy to term.