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  • Writer's pictureMichael Johnsen

Parliament's mixed messages on the value of human life

Michael Johnsen Opinion

The NSW Parliament is sending mixed messages on the value of human life.

The Abortion Law Reform Act 2019, allows abortions to take place up to birth or full gestation of 40 weeks. After 22 weeks, there are certain conditions, and include two specialist medical practitioners to sign off the termination.

One of the key aspects of the legislation is that the specialist medical practitioners need to consider ‘the person’s current and future physical, psychological, and social circumstances’.

Meaning that doctors need to make a judgement call on the person’s lifestyle and whether they are fit to be a parent. At that point, parliament handed over moral judgement to doctors.

Thankfully for doctors, there is an out if they are a conscientious objector.

Now, the Attorney General Mark Speakman has introduced the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Loss of Foetus) Bill 2021, which seeks to punish those that commit a crime that results in the loss of a foetus.

And so, it should. The value of human life cannot be calculated based on social circumstances, including those of a perpetrator of crime, such as the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 allows.

This bill is due to be debated in the next week or so. I cannot see many members voting against this bill, yet those who voted for the termination of human life will no doubt, be falling over themselves to argue why human life is so precious.

Currently under debate is the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 where its aim is to give people with a terminal illness a choice about whether they wish to end their lives prematurely.

This euthanasia bill has been voted against previously over the last few years, but it seems it may have the numbers to pass this time.

So here we are, the parliament allows people to terminate the life of someone who cannot make their own choice, punishes others for doing so, then considers whether those that can make a choice, should do so.

If that’s not mixed messages on the value of human life, then what is?

Michael Johnsen


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