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Charles Francis

Abortion is the defining moral issue of our era.  It not only violates the  Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill", but there is  particular evil in killing one's own children because in  doing so we desecrate God's plan for the future.  It is ironic that some environmentalists such as the Greens, who  claim  they want to maintain the earth in good condition for future generations, have no hesitation in supporting abortion of the  children who would be the beneficiaries of a green planet. 

There has been some media criticism of  leaflets distributed by the Tell the Truth Coalition  showing explicit pictures of aborted babies.  The critics exhibit selective moral indignation  -  they have not exhibited the same concern about what those pictures represent. 

One woman,  whom I  represented in a legal action suing an abortionist for failure to warn of psychological trauma caused by  abortion, following the abortion procedure  delivered recognisable fetal parts,  including a small head with glassy, staring eyes.  The woman  developed  gross post traumatic stress disorder with severe depression. Four years later when her action was settled,   she was still in a dysfunctional state, depressed and unable to work.  No leaflet could depict the  horror  experienced by this woman.

It should be remembered that it was not until William Wilberforce, the great slave trade abolitionist, showed his colleagues the terrible    plight of black slaves aboard British ships that the Slave Trade Act of 1807 was passed. 

The abortion industry is an evil enterprise born of economic convenience,  twisted moral rationalization on "equal rights" for women,  and patronizing arrogance and elitism.  Just as the slave trade was based on the assumption that blacks were not fully human, so today the fetus is regarded as the "property" of its mother. 

It is sad that the Victorian Law Reform Commission, entrusted in 2007 with reforming the law on abortion  (exactly two centuries after slaves could no longer be carried on British ships)   instead of accepting evidence -  pictures, videos and DVDs from abortion abolitionists  showing the humanity of the unborn child and the brutality of abortion -  chose instead to rely on the arguments of the abortion industry   which has a vested  monetary interest in aborting every fetus delivered into its  grasp. 

Abortion abolitionists have nothing to gain financially from opposing abortion.   Indeed many  babies  they save cost  money in terms of help pro-lifers give the mother.  Yet the VLRC rejected  their evidence.  The VLRC Report claimed there was no need for anti-coercion legislation despite  case histories cited by myself and barrister Michael Houlihan, and in  Anne Lastman's  book "Redeeming Grief",  showing  that often abortion was not the choice of the woman but resulted from pressure by a husband, boy-friend or family. We also provided important statistics from the Elliott Institute, USA.  (www. afterabortion.org) 

Similarly, The VLRC rejected pro-life recommendations that women considering abortion  be given warning of  physical and psychological risks, despite  well-documented information  provided on the increased risk of premature birth with consequent cerebral palsy for subsequent babies, the increased risk of breast cancer, the incidence of which has risen 40% since the de facto legalisation of abortion in Victoria following the Menhennitt ruling of 1969,  and the mental health risks reported by  (pro-choice) Professor David Fergusson of New Zealand and the  (pro-choice)  Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain.  

In several American states there is anti-coercion legislation as well  as legislation  on  providing mandatory information.  Even  abortion clinics accept the possible increased risk of breast cancer.  Why aren't Australian women protected by similar  legislation? 

If the copious amounts of research data presented to VLRC Chairman, Professor Neil Rees   by abortion abolitionists was not enough to convince him to heed  warnings, two case histories should give him pause.  In 2004 in the NSW Supreme Court in  Bruce v Kaye,  15-year-old Kristy Bruce who suffers from severe cerebral palsy, lost her case for damages against her mother's obstetrician, Dr. Alan Kaye.  The judge found that Kristy's cerebral palsy was not caused by any negligence of  Dr. Kaye, but by a previous abortion her mother had,  causing  her uterus to rupture  and depriving  Kristy of oxygen during  birth. 

In the UK, artist Emma Beck hanged herself after her 8-weeks gestational twins were aborted.  In her suicide note she wrote: ""I told everyone I didn't want to do it [have the abortion] , even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does." 

These  cases were a stark reminder to Professor Rees of  physical and mental consequences of abortion: the lifetime of regret for Kristy's mother and the unresolved grief of many women who experience abortion. 

In 1785 a "conversion experience" to Christianity  for William Wilberforce resulted in his  lifelong concern for reform.  Besides opposing slavery, he championed causes such as the Society for Suppression of Vice, the introduction of Christianity to India,  creation of a free colony in Sierra Leone,  foundation of the Church Mission Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.   

Wilberforce  died three days after hearing  the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire,  was passed through  Westminster Parliament.  

We need to pray for a  Christian conversion experience to change the hearts and minds of  the VLRC and   pro-abortion lobbyists, Emily's List and  abortion practitioners.

Charles Francis, AM, QC, RFD is a retired  barrister,  former Chairman of the Victorian Bar and former MP in the Victorian Parliament.  




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