International

Several major regional abortion facilities in Australia set to close

abortion, 40 Days

Several MSI Reproductive Choices/Marie Stopes International abortion facilities in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, will soon close their doors. The news comes on the heels of the closure of MSI’s facility in London, UK.

The clinics facing closures are in Rockhampton, Townsville, Southport, and Newcastle. The facilities in Rockhampton and Townsville are the only private abortion facilities providing surgical abortions in that area. The Guardian reports that financial issues were among the factors leading to the decision to shut down the clinics.

Abortion facility closures will likely lead women to travel to obtain abortions, which abortion advocates often refer to as a “postcode lottery.” With the closure of the private abortion facilities, the public sector may step in to continue to provide abortion services in those areas. The facilities are slated to close in August.

Daile Kelleher, the chief executive of Children by Choice, has reached out to the Queensland government seeking a commitment to continue to provide abortion services in the regions, commenting that “abortion is healthcare.” 

As Live Action News has repeatedly reported on the reasons why abortion is not health care. Abortion is a violent act that robs a preborn baby of his or her life and may put the mother’s life at grave risk. Moreover, deliberately killing a preborn child to save the life of the mother is never medically necessary. Legimtinate health care seeks to heal, not kill.

READ: ‘Removing all barriers’: South Australia decriminalizes abortion up to birth

Jamal Hakim, the managing director of Marie Stopes Australia, asserts that discussions with the Queensland government have been positive, but that New South Wales has been “terrible” in discussions about providing abortions to women in that area. 

Queensland and New South Wales only recently decriminalized abortion. In 2018, the Termination of Pregnancy Bill was passed in parliament, making abortion legal up to 22 weeks with no questions asked and past 22 weeks gestation with doctors’ approval. 

Cherish Life Queensland calls the bill “one of the most brutal and extreme abortion laws in the world,” since a full-term healthy baby of a healthy mother can be legally aborted under the law. If a live birth occurs during an abortion, the law states that life-sustaining intervention is prohibited. In addition, sex selective abortions are legal. 

According to a 2018 YouGov Galaxy poll conducted by Cherish Life and the Australian Family Association, 76% of Queenslanders oppose abortion past 23 weeks and believe a preborn child at 23 weeks is a person with rights. More than half oppose abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks and three quarters of those polled believe abortion harms a woman’s health. 

The abortion facility closures arrive in the midst of a Queensland debate over whether to legalize euthanasia. The Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill has been introduced to parliament and is expected to go to a vote in September following consultation.

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