Sources: The Western Australian and Australian Christian Lobby.
Western Australian MP Nick Goiran has exposed the late-term abortion of 600 children, many for minor physical ailments, contravening the state’s limitations on termination for medical reasons.
As part of a two-year investigation into the practice, Mr Goiran found that 52 (10 per cent) of the 474 post 20-week abortions performed since November 2001 had happened because the unborn child had spina bifida, and 35 (seven per cent) was due to Down syndrome.
Other conditions that were also given in justification of the abortion were four cases of skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism), a hand defect, an upper limb abnormality and one case of 47XYY (minor chromosomal disorder).
In his speech to Parliament, Mr Goiran called on members of parliament to reform abortion laws, saying:
“Although I do not support post-20 week abortions as a matter of principle grounded on the right to life, at the very least I am asking all members to have the courage to reform this area urgently so that we cease this grotesque discrimination against people with Down syndrome, which I have described publicly as people who happen to be happier than I am; or for people with spina bifida whose backs are less straight than mine; or for people with dwarfism who happen to be shorter than I am; or possibly, worst of all, those with limb abnormalities, which to this day I still cannot believe and reconcile has occurred.”
Abortion has been legal in Western Australia since May 1998 and it’s estimated 134,000 unborn children have died in the 16 years since it became legal. More than 600 of these babies have been killed after 20 weeks gestation solely because of a disability such as Down syndrome, spina bifida or dwarfism.
In WA, abortion after 20 weeks is allowed if two medical practitioners have agreed that the mother, or the unborn child, has a severe medical condition that in their professional opinion justifies the procedure.
The statistics outlined above clearly show a misuse of the legislation as the justifications fall short of the term “severe medical condition”.
Mr Goiran is urging Western Australians to write to WA’s Minister for Health Dr Kim Hames asking for a bill to prohibit post 20-week abortions for conditions compatible with life.