Australian State Defeats Bill Forcing Christian Hospitals to Kill Babies in Abortions

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 18, 2022   |   11:40AM   |   Sydney, Australia

Christian hospitals in Australia will remain protected from an abortion mandate for now after lawmakers defeated a radical anti-religious freedom bill Wednesday.

The Epoch Times reports parliament in the state of Victoria overwhelmingly rejected the legislation in a 28-7 vote. Sponsored by MP Fiona Patten, the bill would have required hospitals to kill unborn and born patients through abortion and assisted suicide in order to continue receiving taxpayer funding

Supporters pointed to the United States where the Supreme Court recently overturned Roe v. Wade as a reason for the extreme measure, according to the report.

“It is really important we keep these issues on the agenda after the Roe v. Wade decision in the U.S. International events have domestic consequences,” said Greens MP Samantha Ratnam, one of the seven who voted in favor of the legislation.

Abortions are legal for any reason up to 24 weeks in Victoria and later in certain circumstances. Doctor-assisted suicide also is legal for people “in the late stages of advanced disease.” The law protects hospitals and medical workers from being forced to abort unborn babies or participate in assisted suicides in violation of their consciences.

State parliament leaders agreed that those protections should remain in place.

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“There is no precedent in this state for health services to be mandated in the specific care and services that they provide–none whatsoever,” Shadow Minister for Health and former midwife Georgie Crozier told parliament Wednesday, The Epoch Times reports.

When Patten introduced her bill, she claimed religious hospitals are “mistreating” patients by refusing to do abortions and assisted suicides.

“I am moving legislation to protect and extend fundamental human rights currently being denied in public hospitals,” Patten said, according to the Australian news outlet ABC. “The health system is mistreating those who fund it.”

Vision Christian Media reports Patten mentioned the Catholic-based Mercy Health system, which runs hospitals in Werribee and Heidelberg, as a target of her legislation.

The mission of the Catholic health network includes caring “for mothers and babies from conception, through pregnancy and birth” and for “people of all ages who are diagnosed with incurable or terminal illness through inpatient and community-based palliative and end-of-life care.”

On its website, Mercy Health says it refuses to destroy human lives in abortions and assisted suicides “in accordance with the Hippocratic tradition of medicine.”

“We aim to do no harm, to relieve pain, to provide compassionate care for the whole person and to never abandon those in our care,” the Catholic health system states.

Protections for pro-life medical workers are at risk across the world.

In 2021, the European Union approved a radical pro-abortion document that describes abortion as “essential healthcare” and advocates against the conscience rights of medical workers, portraying their refusal to help abort unborn babies as a “denial of medical care.”

In May, a new talking points memo from the United States House Pro-Choice Caucus adopted the same language, telling lawmakers to say “refusal of care/denial of care laws” instead of conscience protections.

Then, this summer, the Biden administration unveiled a proposed new rule that reinterprets federal law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “termination of pregnancy”—an action that could force physicians and hospitals to perform abortions and employers to cover abortions in their health insurance plans.

A pro-abortion medical group, Physicians for Reproductive Health, is urging the media to silence pro-life medical professionals, too, claiming their opposition to killing unborn babies is “misinformation.”

Concerns about ending conscience protections for pro-life medical workers are growing in IrelandSpain and other parts of the world, too.