How the Term ‘Foeticide’ can Protect Conscientious Objectors.
This is another article by an Australian pro-life MD. His previous article explained the benefits of using the term ‘foeticide’ instead of abortion. (Click here to read the previous article)
The Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008
Section 8 says:
If a woman requests a registered health practitioner to advise on a proposed abortion, or to perform direct authorised or supervise an abortion for that woman and the practitioner has a conscientious objection to abortion the practitioner must (1): inform the woman that the practitioner has a conscientious objection to abortion and (2): refer to the woman to another registered health practitioner …who the practitioner knows does not have a conscientious objection to abortion.
Also, abortion is defined in the Victorian abortion act of 2008 as “termination of pregnancy”; it does not mention the death or destruction of the foetus i.e foeticide. [Click here to read the Act.]
The Importance of Defining Terms
If you use the word “foeticide” in place of “abortion” in a debate it will work very well. When Dr Sally Cockburn asked me, after a debate with her in 2014 on section 8, how I could deny that I had a conscientious objection to abortion when I had stated in a parliamentary submission that I was a Catholic and opposed to abortion for that reason? I replied that that was in the context of abortion as murder, which I was against, but that the 2008 Victorian abortion act defines abortion as termination of pregnancy, which I was not against if medically indicated, and it nowhere mentions death or destruction of the unborn baby, i.e. foeticide. She was unable to respond to that. The opposition is then reduced to debating the justification of foeticide and even a novice (like me) can win that one.
Termination of Pregnancy
In the debate I stated this:”… I do not consider myself a “conscientious objector” as far as abortion is concerned as I do not have a conscientious objection to all abortions. Sometimes termination of a pregnancy is medically necessary to save the mother’s life or if her health is seriously threatened. If a doctor refuses to help a woman in this situation for whatever reason, religious or otherwise, by appropriate treatment or referral, he should be disciplined.
In this sense, I do not have a problem with abortion as it is defined in the ARLA act 2008 as it is inclusive of therapeutic termination of pregnancy, and the plain reading of section 8 regarding conscientious objection does not make me a conscientious objector, however the destruction of a foetus (i.e. foeticide) for no medical reason, I believe is wrong, and if it is done by doctors either explicitly or complicitly, it is in direct contravention of their professional duty. I believe there is nothing more important than human life and it the doctor’s duty to protect it.
In essence I am not in conflict with the plain wording of section 8 but in the way it has been interpreted and used to silence doctors and interfere with ethical medical practice by broadening the definition of conscientious objection to include objection to every request for abortion even including female gender selection abortion at 19 weeks …”
Hence a health worker can state they do not have a conscientious objection to abortion but do have a conscientious objection to foeticide.
The recent bubble zone legislation in Victoria and foeticide pill reversal treatment.
With the introduction of the foeticide pill RU486 many foeticides are now being done this way. There are reports from the US that is up to 50% of all foeticides in some states and I’ve had communication that there were almost 10,000 prescriptions written for it in Australia in 2015.
It is a two-step “treatment”. The first drug is given is mifepristone, otherwise known as RU 486, which starves the baby of nutrients from the placenta ; then one to 2 days later another tablet, misoprostol, is given which causes the uterus to contract and expel the baby.
However there is an antidote to RU 486. If given early enough, ideally within the first 24 hours (but it can be given later) the chance of survival is up to 65 to 70%. If the antidote is not given the baby has only a 15% chance of survival. The antidote is natural progesterone (easily administered as vaginal pessaries) and it is 100% safe and is used by IVF clinics to help the baby survive in its earliest stages of development following implantation. In the US 200 babies have been born and another 100 on the way according to the latest information. There is no increased risk of birth defects. If the treatment is unsuccessful the mother will have to have a curettage as per a miscarriage so there is no special risk to her either.
What Abortionists are Saying about Feoticide Pill Reversal
These pills are given at the “Fertility Control Clinic” in Melbourne. I know this directly as I prescribed foeticide pill reversal treatment last year. The woman concerned will be giving birth soon. After she was given the pills she was not told there was an antidote. In fact she was told by repeated phone calls when she didn’t return for the administration of the second part of the treatment she would “die”(a lie). She was also given a letter about a week later after she didn’t represent that the baby would be malformed (another lie).
but in Victoria we are denying women this vital information because, according to the bubble zone legislation it
“…is reasonably likely to cause distress or anxiety…”