Our Rights Are In Danger!
If the current proposals for changes to abortion legislation in NSW and Queensland are passed, here’s what we risk as a health practitioners (Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, etc):
You as a health practitioner are in danger of deregistration if you do not refer a woman for an abortion. Doctors and nurses risk deregistration if they do not participate in an abortion which is deemed an “emergency”.
2. Forced Referrals
You as a health practitioner will be legally required to refer for abortions – regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the risks or reasons.
3. No Conscientious Objection
Doctors, nurses and pharmacists with ethical, religious and cultural beliefs against abortion will have to consider whether to continue to practice in breach of the law or to discontinue working as healthcare professionals.
4. Limitation of Rights
Your basic human rights will be undermined. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion are basic rights in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 18).
5. Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life Claims
By making abortion legal up to birth, the proposed law will increase the risk that doctors will be found to be negligent regarding their duty of care to the unborn child.
6. Employment Discrimination
Health practitioners such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists and social workers are likely to face employment discrimination.
7. Personal Health Risk
Evidence shows that workers who are involved in abortions are vulnerable to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.
8. Government Control
The proposed law will undermine your professional authority and moral integrity. The government should not coerce health practitioners to participate in the taking of human life.
9. The Code of Conduct
The current code of conduct mandates that health practitioners practice in a ‘safe and ethical’ way. Given that late term abortions risk the health of the mother, this bill will challenge the code.
The NSW Health Guidelines about termination of pregnancy explain that some aborted babies will be born alive and in these instances, resuscitation may become a crime.