South Australia (SA) has decriminalized abortion, making it legal to abort a child up to birth. The Termination of Pregnancy Bill passed the state’s House of Assembly 29-15 on Feb. 18 after a 22-hour debate. It then went back to SA’s Legislative Council for a final vote since a series of amendments were added to the legislation. The upper chamber made no further amendments to the bill on March 2 and passed the legislation on a voice vote.
“The passage of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020 … marks a sad day for SA,” said Christopher Brohier, SA director of the Australian Christian Lobby. “Instead of seeking to support mothers and their unborn children, SA … has passed this vague and inconsistent bill, permitting abortion to birth.”
SA has become the last Australian state to fully decriminalize abortion.
For months, the Australian Christian Lobby has been encouraging South Australian Christians to lobby their parliament members (MPs), urging them to vote “no” on the bill. Although the bill passed, Martyn Iles, managing director of the organization, says SA now has “the best of a bad bunch of the new abortion laws nationwide.”
“Some babies will be saved because of the amendments, which were passed because more MPs than ever were responsive to your voice,” he said to South Australian pro-life supporters.
Pro-life organization Love Adelaide agrees. “The only positive in this horrendous legislation is the five amendments which were fought and won in the House of Assembly on Feb. 19,” the group posted to Facebook.
The five amendments:
- outlaw sex selection abortion;
- ensure a duty of care to any babies born alive after an attempted abortion;
- incorporate detailed guidelines as to matters to be considered by doctors in assessing if late term abortions should occur;
- require provision of information about counseling; and
- make changes to the conscientious objection provisions.
While pro-life advocates may be tempted to despair, Iles encourages them to not give up.
“Let’s not grow weary in doing good; let’s continue to do what we are called to do,” he said. “… The people of the church, those that follow Christ, are less silent than they have ever been. We know that righteousness exalts a nation. To shine that light of righteousness in the public square is what we’ve got to do. We’ve started to do it. We’re not done. Let’s look forward to good things ahead, and at the same time, trust God for the outcome.”