Pro-life groups caught misleading women, MP says
QUEENSLAND'S Health Minister Steven Miles claims major pro-life groups have been misleading women.
Pro-life groups that offer counselling services have been put on notice by Mr Miles and he has written to the federal Ombudsman, claiming the pro-life groups were giving incorrect information to women and did not declare their stance on the issue.
"In some of the recordings I've heard, they tell women they risk getting breast cancer from an abortion which has been proven to be incorrect," Mr Miles said.
"They tell women that many women never recover from having an abortion, and they just generally encourage them not to exercise that option."
Among the groups Mr Miles identified in his letter to the Ombudsman are Priceless House, Rachel's Vineyard and Pregnancy Help Australia.
Mr Miles said the pro-life organisations deceive women by using front telephone numbers and front names when speaking to women, while noting Children By Choice (a pro-choice organisation that also offers counselling) is upfront about their stance.
Thousands of people gathered in Brisbane on Sunday for a pro-choice march, Mr Miles spoke at the rally, as did Federal Greens Senator Larissa Waters, former federal Liberal Nationals Party Senator Sue Boyce, and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
According to the Parliamentary Committees report The Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 objective was to "enable reasonable and safe access by women to terminations of pregnancy and to regulate conduct of registered health practitioners in relations to terminations".
Sections 224-226 of the Criminal Act 1899 (QLD) prohibit unlawful termination.
Taking abortion out of the criminal code will mean it becomes a health issue and women who are up to 22 weeks pregnant would be allowed to terminate their pregnancies.
The Liberal National Party opposition has agreed to allow their MP's to vote with their conscience, as has the Labor government.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was in favour of a conscience vote.
"As a female leader myself I believe this is such a crucial issue for so many people across our state that a conscience vote should be granted," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Trad appeared optimistic about the support for the law reform.
"There have been conversations happening constantly over the course of the last two months," she said.
"I think it's fair to say there is strong support for these laws that were independently drafted by the Queensland Law Reform Commission."
In addition to decriminalising abortion, safe zones would be enforced around clinics and medical facilities to ensure anti-abortion activists don't harass staff and patients.
- With wires