Australian Christian Lobby campaigns for South African election candidates who oppose late-term abortions

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is running a targeted campaign to promote candidates of all political stripes who voted against allowing easier access to late-term abortions in South Australia.

The lobby group has produced pamphlets showing whether or not members of the Legislative Council last year voted for an amendment to a bill to decriminalize abortion that would have severely restricted terminations after 23 weeks, as well as opinions of future parliamentarians.

The law passed, but the amendment failed.

The ACL also set up a website for voters in the March 19 state election to see how their local House of Assembly member voted on the bill.

The organization’s brochure also names MPs and candidates who voted against decriminalizing sex work and allowing schools not to employ LGBTQI teachers.

The sex work bill was rejected in 2019.

ACL State Director Christopher Brohier said his The organization had told MPs ahead of the vote that it would highlight how they voted ahead of the national elections.

“It’s a blunt law that has very few limits and so we thought it was important to let people know who wouldn’t support such legislation.”

MLC Greens Tammy Franks said there were only rare situations where late-term abortions were needed.

She said describing it as “abortion at birth” was misleading.

“I would call it acknowledging after 23 weeks these awful situations where the doctor and the patient have to make really, really painful decisions, but they’re done with health care now, not being thrown into criminal law without health care. possible health,” she said.

Candidates backed by the lobby group include those from the Liberal and Labor parties.(ABC News: Rebecca Brice)

Restrictions on late abortions

When abortion was decriminalized in March last year, the changes brought South Australia into line with most jurisdictions in the country.

It will allow abortions under 22 weeks and six days with the consent of the pregnant person, while terminations after that period can occur when deemed “medically appropriate” by two doctors.

Late abortions will only be permitted if there is a threat to the life of the pregnant person or another fetus or if there is a significant risk of serious fetal abnormalities associated with the pregnancy.

Medical abortion can be approved via telehealth and there is a South Australian residency requirement.

Family First follows a similar strategy

The Family First Party – led by former Conservative Catholic Labor MPs Tom Kenyon and Jack Snelling – announced last week that it would prefer candidates who voted for a failed amendment that tried to limit abortions to 22 weeks gestation, even if they generally leaned left on other issues.

Liberal Prime Minister Steven Marshall and former Deputy Prime Minister Vickie Chapman backed the abortion bill, while Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas and Labor MPs Tom Koutsantonis and Stephen Mullighan voted against it.

A composite image of two women
The bill was introduced by moderate liberals Michelle Lensink and Vickie Chapman.(ABC News)

The Liberals argue that a vote for Family First is a vote for Labour, but Family First’s leading candidate Tom Kenyon has said that is not the case.

“At Wright’s seat, Labor MP for Wright, Blair Boyer, also voted against this amendment and we will give him preference,” he said.

“In Mawson, Leon Bignell, the Labor MP for Mawson, voted against this amendment and we will prefer against him.

“In Badcoe, Labor member Jayne Stinson, she voted against this amendment and we will prefer against her.”

A bill authorizing euthanasia adopted in 2021; however, Mr Brohier said the ACL could only press so many issues before scrambling the message.

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