Why We Must Keep Talking About the Infant Viability Bill

May 27, 2016 , In: THANKS

Tens of thousands of Victorians, led by Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins, have only gotten started. The Infant Viability Bill did not win this time but we’ll get there or get closer in the next round.

This means, babies in the womb will continue to be aborted after 24 weeks right up until birth.

My stomach churned on Wednesday, 25th of May when I heard the Members of the Legislative Council voted 11 to 27. Eleven supported the Bill, 27 made the wrong decision.

Whilst many may think it’s over, Dr Carling-Jenkins emphasised in the rally attended by 1500 Victorians that this attempt is only the first step.

Whichever side you are on, I believe that we must keep talking about the Infant Viability Bill. We must keep talking about the value of life. We must discuss how our legislation can protect both women and children.

I believe the Australian Medical Association’s statement calling on Members of Parliament to ‘vote down’ the bill was the game-changer in what was supposed to be a close fight.

There is much to grieve about that statement, two parts of which I especially despise.

The first paragraph of the statement reads:

‘In Victoria, abortion is a medical procedure – not a crime. The Infant Viability Bill criminalises abortion and commands doctors to provide certain types of neonatal and perinatal medical care. The AMA urges MPs to vote against this Bill, as it jeopardises the independence of medicine.’

Let’s take it in a sentence at a time:

‘In Victoria, abortion is a medical procedure – not a crime.’

How can they reduce the killing of babies to a mere medical procedure?

‘The Infant Viability Bill criminalises abortion and commands doctors to provide certain types of neonatal and perinatal medical care.’

What is so bad about ensuring doctors provide these services?

‘The AMA urges MPs to vote against this Bill, as it jeopardises the independence of medicine.’

In 2006, the AMA adopted the Declaration of Geneva, its penultimate promise being, ‘I will maintain the utmost respect for human life

Does ‘the independence of medicine’ now precede respect for human life?

Oh and don’t get me started on the Hippocratic Oath which AMA says it upholds along with the Geneva Declaration.

Another part that is hard to read without having to take deep breaths…

‘The Bill suggests that the neonatal intensive care provided at the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital, Monash Medical Centre and Mercy Hospital for Women is inappropriate. This is insulting and wrong.’ 

Excuse me, but here we are discussing a matter of life and death for infants and they think it appropriate to voice their offense?

How about we talk about the 64 aborted babies in 2010 and 2011 who were left to die after they were born alive, following a premature labor induction?

Or the 744 unborn children aborted after 20 weeks both years?

Adding fuel to my ire is MP Colleen Hartland’s response to the Infant Viability Bill, saying, ‘Women are smart, and they can make their own decisions about how they live their lives. They do not need the Parliament to tell them how they will live their lives.’

To that, these words from a friend provide the apt reply, ‘In a truly just society, a woman would not be forced to choose between motherhood and her career, relationship, reputation or financial security.’

May we also be reminded of the infants’ rights. Here’s how John Piper puts it:

“We know the principle of justice that when two legitimate rights conflict, the right that protects the higher value should prevail. We deny the right to drive at 100 miles per hour because the value of life is greater than the value of being on time or getting thrills. The right of the unborn not to be killed and the right of a woman not to be pregnant may be at odds. But they are not equal rights. Staying alive is more precious and more basic than not being pregnant. We know what we are doing when we kill a child.”

– John Piper, ‘We know they are killing children – All of us know’


An article in The Age also quotes The Director of Obstetrics at Monash Health, Professor Euan Wallace, saying it is a ‘regressive bill’.

Well, yes, Professor Euan Wallace, when the current law is letting viable babies die on our watch, a regressive bill is exactly what we need.

We need not only a step backwards, but a leap.

The Bill might not be debated in Parliament until October this year or maybe even next year. But let’s keep talking. There are many around us who do not realise our extreme abortion laws.

It took William Wilberforce 18 years to see the abolition of the slave trade and 45 years for all slaves in Britain to be set free.

I pray that our fight won’t take as long.

Hard as it is, we must keep speaking about this injustice that ills our State.

Bring it up in conversation. So the next time the Bill comes around, MPs know what the people want. May we do even better than the 45,000 signatures in handwritten petitions and the 1,500 attendance in the rally.

Let’s keep talking about the Infant Viability Bill.

Infant Viability Bill

The eleven names you can thank and show support to are: 3 members of the Liberal Party (Richard Della-Riva, Bernie Finn & Gordon Rich-Phillips); 3 members of the ALP (Daniel Mulino, Adem Somyurek & Nazih Elasmar); 2 members of the Shooters & Fishers Party (Jeff Bourman & Daniel Young); 2 members of the National Party (Damien Drum & Melina Bath); and, of course, 1 member of the DLP (Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins).

Here’s a screenshot of my source for the figures mentioned, from the Infant Viability Bill Factsheet by Women’s Forum Australia, along with the screenshot of its sources. I also encourage you to download and read the full PDF document.

Infant Viability Bill Infant Viability Bill

Click on the link below to view or download the Infant Viability Bill Factsheet by Women’s Forum Australia.

Q&A Infant Viability Bill 2015 – Women’s Forum

Questions and comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment.

Rachel Herweynen

Teacher & Traveller

Alive because of Jesus - a teacher, traveller and wife of a photographer. I write to learn, to help and to be thankful.

Let's be friends

Want to receive the latest posts and join the conversation? Enter your email add below.