Rethinking Abortion

Abortion is an incredibly divisive topic. People on both sides of the issue are so passionate about their own perspectives that it can be difficult to conduct a balanced discussion that takes all viewpoints into account.

Unfortunately, whenever anyone from either the ‘pro-life’ or the ‘pro-choice’ camps raises the topic they can be very quickly shouted down or misreported before anyone has the opportunity to evaluate what they’re really saying.

Western Australian Liberal MP and Member for Southern River, Peter Abetz, recently ignited debate when he suggested that women seeking an abortion should be shown a 3D colour ultrasound image of their foetus before being going ahead with the procedure. He also called for a 48 hour cooling off period from when a woman books an abortion to when the procedure could take place.

He called for the 3D ultrasounds and a cooling off period during a recent rally at Western Australia’s Parliament House marking the anniversary of the 1998 liberalisation of WA’s abortion laws.

He states his main concern is that women should be given as much information as possible about abortion before making a decision. No other medical procedure is done without providing the patient with the maximum possible amount of available relevant information.

Peter Abetz recently joined me on 98.5 Sonshine FM to talk about his views and what he is hoping to achieve. You can hear what he said by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

Please take the time to hear what he’s saying and then leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

While I don’t agree with abortion, I cannot support those who only pour condemnation on women who have undergone abortions. I believe that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that while we may have strong views one way or another, we should still show respect to those with opposing views.


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Hidden Me

The Hidden MeSome of the issues people face remain buried or hidden, making healing difficult. That’s why 98.5 Sonshine FM is partnering with Thornlie Church of Christ in presenting the one day Hidden Me conference.

Unresolved pregnancy loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death, or abortion can continue to impact a woman’s life. The Hidden Me is a one day conference to help women find help, hope and healing.

Speakers for the conference, Lyn Varty and Karen Furlong, recently spoke to me on 98.5 Sonshine FM about their own journeys and the conference.

Even if you’re not in the Perth area and can’t attend the conference, our discussion will help you on your own journey if you’ve ever faced the pain of pregnancy loss. You can hear what Lyn and Karen had to say by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.


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Compelled to commit evil

Dr Lachlan DunjeyDr Lachlan Dunjey is a medical doctor from Perth Western Australia.

I’m hoping that you’ll take the time to follow this link and watch a video of Lachlan speaking at the Conscience Laws and Healthcare Conference on Saturday the 25th of July 2009. In the video he speaks of legislation which compels doctors to perform procedures which go against their conscience. The title of his presentation was The Coercion of Doctors: What is happening to modern medicine?

Dr Dunjey has been active for two decades in ethical and moral issues particularly involving the intrinsic value of human life.

In 2006 he set up Medicine With Morality, an organisation uniting doctors across Australia to lobby members of parliament on life issues including human cloning, euthanasia, abortion and the right to practice medicine according to conscience.

Should a doctor be forced to perform abortions even if that goes against their beliefs?

How far will such laws go? Will they stop at abortion? Will doctors be compelled to assist the suicide of patients? Should doctors have to compromise their beliefs?

The video runs for just under twenty minutes but I appeal to you to watch the video through to understand the gravity of the situation now facing us and the serious issue of where society is going with legislation.

Irish orator, philosopher, and politician Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) is often quoted as saying, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” If we are people of goodwill it’s time for us to find out what is going on and to take necessary action.

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National Day of Mourning and Compassion

This Sunday, the 23rd of November, marks a National Day of Mourning and Compassion in Australia.

People all over the country will be meeting to grieve the growing incidence of abortion in our nation. Australian churches are also being asked to remember those who have been affected by abortion.

The National Day of Mourning and Compassion website states the mission of the event as follows:

* Join together in compassion with ALL who’ve been affected by abortion, enabling the expression of mourning within a safe a supportive social forum.

* For all those with faith in Jesus, to pray in repentance for acts of abortion. To feel and acknowledge his grief over this sin of humanity.

* Raise awareness in the community of the thoughtless daily disposal of life.

* Bring into the light the grisly reality of what the new Victorian Abortion Reform Bill means to our society – in particular as it relates to late term abortion.

* To acknowledge the intrinsic value of every human life.

It’s not a protest and people will be asked not to carry placards or try to force their point of view, rather that they simply meet to mourn and support those whose lives have been touched by abortion.

I know that there are intelligent, thinking people on both sides of the debate and I don’t want to turn this into an argument over the rights and wrongs. I would simply and with respect say that I believe that a life begins at conception and that the taking of innocent life through abortion disturbs and saddens me.

I know that many women have abortions for many different reasons and I would never want to condem them for what they’ve done. It’s not my place to condem others even when I disagree strongly with their actions.

Here are a few words from Dr Lachalan Dunjey who is coodinating the Perth event on Sunday.

Why does abortion concern me?

Why would I take part in a gathering together of people nationwide this coming Sunday who are grieving because of abortion in our nation?

Why am I involved in the abortion issue when I didn’t want to be? When I knew it would be divisive? When I knew it would also be divisive amongst Christians and even Christian doctors? When I knew it would put me in conflict with others and cause me personal pain? When I had a vague idea of how much it would cost in terms of time and putting myself forward?

I think we just have to remind ourselves of what is really happening here – what has really, without our full realisation, happened.

Yes, there have been many who have been awake through the whole process but most of us have been asleep.

Who would ever have thought that abortion would be promoted as just another aspect of contraception?

Who would ever have thought that medical personnel would deliberately turn the ultrasound away so that the mother-to-be would not see the beating heart and know that the child she was carrying was not just a clump of cells? Who would ever have thought that this action would be recommended by a NHMRC committee?

Who would ever have thought that killing would be a solution for misery?

In Senate hearings in Canberra three weeks ago it was acknowledged that abortions were being carried out for fetal abnormalities some of them quite minor and surgically correctable e.g. cleft lip, as well as 90% of Down Syndrome babies. Further, it was argued that taking away the Medicare item for mid-trimester abortion would have the effect of increasing the cost to the community of disability services. Thus we have an argument for selective abortion on the grounds of disability – with implications as to how we view people with disability – that is not only justified by maternal choice as to whether that baby should live or die, but also by economic rationalism.

Mothers who refuse abortion for disability have been labelled “genetic outlaws” because of the implied extra cost to the community.

The implications are huge – including economics being applied to other aspects of health care and also euthanasia vs palliative care.

So we need to look at the actual direct effects of abortion
• What it means in terms of actually taking a real human life where its 46 chromosomes have already determined how it smiles.
• How that human life is actually taken in terms of gruesome techniques.
• How this is done without any consideration of pain to the baby especially in later pregnancy.
• Consequences to the mother – physical, psychological and spiritual.

And then to the wider implications to society that is coming to view life as expendable depending on its value and the implications for
• Experimenting with the origins of life.
• Cloning.
• Mixing of human and animal genetic material.
• Eugenic selection in our society for elimination of anything considered less than perfect.
• Physician assisted suicide.
• Euthanasia – voluntary and involuntary.

At root, of course, are the questions
• When does human life begin?
• What does it mean to be human?
• When is human life of value?
• If it does not have intrinsic value from conception then when does it have value and on what basis do we ascribe that value?

Lachlan Dunjey. November 2008.

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