Bill to protect the most vulnerable introduced

By Catherine Sheehan

LNP Senator for Queensland, Matt Canavan, introduced a bill into the Senate on 30 November seeking to protect babies born alive during abortion procedures.

Addressing members of the Senate, Mr Canavan said The Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2022 sought to “place a duty of care on medical practitioners to provide exactly the same medical care and treatment to a child born alive as a result of an abortion as they would a child born in any other circumstances.”

Referring to research carried out by the Parliamentary Library, Mr Canavan said that, “in a single year, 33 babies aborted after 20 weeks gestation were born alive in Victoria” and in Queensland, “204 babies were born alive as a result of abortions over a 10-year period”.

The problem was “systemic” in Queensland, he said, where official health guidelines stipulate that “If [during an abortion] a live birth occurs… Do not provide life sustaining treatment… Document the time and date of death”.

“In this nation, potentially hundreds of babies are born alive as a result of abortion procedures without any significant subsequent intervention,” Mr Canavan said.

“Our most vulnerable are simply left to die.”

Referring to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which affirms that every child has the inherent right to life, Mr Canavan said that “Every death of a viable baby born alive as a result of an abortion that occurs in Australia means that the fundamental rights of a child enshrined in this UN convention are absent in this country”.

“This needs to be remedied. Lives need to be saved.”

“The question of whether or not this Bill is supported will be a test of the true measure of not only this chamber, or this parliament, but of our society.”

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