DEBATE: Members of parliament will vote on a bill aimed to decriminalise abortion later this month.
DEBATE: Members of parliament will vote on a bill aimed to decriminalise abortion later this month. LSOphoto

Hundreds of women in Bundy against abortion bill: Batt

MEMBER for Bundaberg David Batt says male MPs are being slammed for opposing the decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland.

Mr Batt said criticisms were "making this debate a man versus woman issue".

"It has been disappointing to see that there are members of my community, and presumably members of all Queensland communities, who have begun to be critical of the decision-making process and are slamming male MPs for voting against the legislation," he said.

He stood in parliament last night to oppose the controversial Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 and said 99 per cent of people who contacted him were against it, with 63 per cent of them being women.

Mr Batt said he had heard the concerns of constituents and spoke on their behalf to oppose the bill.

"Hundreds of women have contacted me and expressed their genuine worry and fear for our state's future should this bill be passed," he said.

"This is where my decision to vote no on this bill has come from - it has come straight from the Bundaberg community."

The proposed legislation would see abortions available on demand until 22 weeks of pregnancy with no reason required to be given.

 

Member for Bundaberg David Batt said he would vote against the proposed legislation.
Member for Bundaberg David Batt said he would vote against the proposed legislation. Geoff Egan

Mr Batt said late-term abortions already existed under current legislation for heartbreaking circumstances such as severe genetic abnormalities but sex selection could become a prominent reason for aborting at such a late stage if the bill were to pass.

"This bill adds late-term terminations for reasons including undefined, current and future social reasons as long as two medical professionals sign off on it," he said.

Mr Batt said he understood the complexity of the situation and said the proposed legislation ignored negative health risks.

"It fails to address the support women facing abortions really need and it removes protections for women against abortion coercion, subjecting women to even more vulnerability when it comes to pressure from their partners, family and/or others," he said.

He closed his speech by quoting pro-life group Women's Forum Australia which stated "the bill is counter-productive to women's health, removes protection for women, unborn children, medical professionals and citizens, and is a radical departure from the current law".

Mr Batt said he would vote against the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 during the two-day debate which will conclude this afternoon.



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