The Sydney Morning Herald has reported some Labor candidates have conceded their party’s federal election policy to liberalise abortion “lost them much needed votes.”
Labor MP Susan Templeman said publicity campaigning against Labor’s abortion policy “had an impact”. She complained that it was inaccurate to claim Labor had an “extreme late-term abortion agenda.”
However, Ms Templeman is one of more than ninety Labor MPs around Australia who belong to Emily’s List, an American lobby group which aims to change Australian laws to legalise abortion without restriction or restraint, including full-term abortion and full taxpayer funding. Labor laws passed in Victoria first and most recently Queensland includes full term abortion without any protections for women. The information published by Cherish Life and distributed to letterboxes and at election booths in 25 strategically targeted seats would seem to not be inaccurate.
Out of those seats targeted, six were held by Labor prior to the election and lost, and two were gained by Labor. 14 were retained by the Coalition and three were retained by Labor. Susan Templeman’s seat of Macquarie in NSW’s Blue Mountains was one of the closest races and with 93.5% of the votes counted, she’s hanging on by only 327 votes.
Another Labor MP, Ed Husic, suffered a 6.8% swing against him, although his seat is still very safe. He admitted to being surprised by “a bit of a wildfire going on over the issue of abortion.” He also denied Labor supports full term abortions despite them being legalised in Queensland just last year with the minor and unenforced technicality of needing a second doctor’s approval.
According to the SMH article, “Labor sources also say the abortion policy was a concern to some voters in seats such as Greenway, which Michelle Rowland retained for Labor with a 3.3 per cent swing against her.”
It goes on to declare, “Labor women say they will not countenance any changes to the party’s abortion policy, which took more than two years to develop. Emily’s List, an organisation that supports progressive Labor women into politics, said the policy was “done and dusted”.”
Cherish Life executive director Teeshan Johnson said, their campaign to put Labor last because more babies would die under a Labor government was “100 per cent accurate. Labor’s angry because they lost.”
Two things should now be clear to everyone. Abortion is both a state and federal election issue, and it is becoming a political career decider in seats which are susceptible to change.
Many people contacted federal MPs to ask them if they would vote against liberalising abortion. Too many ignorantly dismissed the question as “a state issue”. Readers can inform those MPs that although abortion laws are legislated by states, termination receives federal taxpayer funding.
Labor’s policy, which Emily’s List lobby group members won’t allow to be diluted, is to hold federal hospital funds ransom for whatever they deem acceptable abortion services. They also want medical abortions (the RU486 pill) completely subsidised through Medicare rebates. Federal Labor even presumes to be able to push desired legislation changes on the South Australia and New South Wales Parliaments.
It is clearly not exclusively a state issue and never has been.
The significant encouragement that all voters can take from the 2019 federal election is that all future candidates, state and federal, have now been put on notice that abortion is an election issue. Every single one of us should be as politically engaged as we claim we would have been if we’d had a voice or a vote when slavery – also the act of treating another living human as disposable, personal property – was legal and socially acceptable.
Let’s speak plainly, without euphemisms. Abortion is simply the act of intentionally killing an innocent living human. Everyone gets a say on laws about that in a democracy, but democracy is merely a popular tyranny if the people are not virtuous. Real justice in Australia requires more people at every election to engage with their candidates and demand they intervene against the oppression of the most vulnerable and voiceless among us.
We are changing the culture. My generation will end abortion. We can make it happen that a candidate supporting the killing of innocent living humans will only ever result in the termination of a political career.