This image is the logo on a medical organisation's letterhead. It was redacted from a submission to a health committee whose task it was to report to parliament on the issue of abortion reform in Queensland in 2018. This, and any words related to the foetus or abortion procedures were heavily censored from submissions. One of the health committee members, Michael Berkman, posted the following on his Facebook page:
"I'm a member of the health Committee, and it was quite an extraordinary experience hearing evidence on the abortion law reform bill. Some of the misinformation from anti-choice campaigners has been staggering, but if you look past the rhetoric there should be no question about this. It's time to bring Qld law into the 21st century.
Whatever the shortcomings of the committee system, the Committee's recommendations on this legislation are spot on - the Bill should be passed and all MPs should have a conscience vote."
Surely the biggest 'shortcoming' of this committee was its absolute prejudice. It is outrageous that politicians can be so brazen about their positioning on an issue and still be the ones tasked to read, absorb, and report back to parliament on public submissions. When such ideological positioning is not only accepted, but also drives the information that is even made available for the development of legislation, the agendas become very clear.
Here is one of the more highly censored submissions. I have made comments to show what has been blacked out. Such things include accurate statements about abortion procedures, names of TV shows, words like 'coat hanger', medically accurate drawings of abortion procedures and links to references used within the submission.
Whether you agree with abortion or not, there must be a higher standard of ethics and responsibility adhered to when considering such major change to law and standards.
When one of Queensland's own abortion providers directly gave her testimony to the committee admitting that she would perform an abortion on a knowingly coerced women and not one committee member questioned this, it was no surprise that this legislation passed, leaving women with fewer actual choices and no pathway off the abortion conveyor belt.
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