Matt Canavan pushes to ban ‘late term’ abortions in Australia after US overturned Roe v Wade
Father-of-five senator calls on Australia to BAN late abortions after US overthrows Roe v Wade: ‘It’s barbaric’
- US Supreme Court overturned constitutional right to abortion on Friday
- LNP Senator Matt Canavan wants late abortions banned in Australia
- He finds abortions after 20 weeks – allowed in most states – ‘barbaric’
Liberal National Party senator Matt Canavan wants late abortions banned in Australia after the US reverses abortion rights.
All Australian jurisdictions except the ACT, Tasmania and WA allow elective abortions after 20 weeks.
Senator Canavan, a Catholic with four sons and a daughter, believes that abortions after this time are “barbaric” and should be banned except in rare cases.
Liberal National Party Senator Matt Canavan (pictured with his family) wants late abortions banned in Australia after US reverses abortion rights
Though the science is disputed, he subscribes to the view that fetuses may feel pain after 20 weeks and may even try to avoid surgical equipment in the womb.
“Science has evolved a lot where we now have these 3D ultrasounds and a lot more evidence about what happens to a baby,” he told Sky News on Tuesday morning.
“For the past 20 weeks or so, the scientific consensus has been that babies can feel pain.
“We see and observe in late abortions that babies try to avoid the tools of the procedure.
“I think that’s changed a lot of opinions.”
Senator Canavan said Australia is “isolated” from the world because only six other countries allow elective abortions after 20 weeks: Canada, China, the Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
His list appears to be based on a 2014 report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which was verified as correct by the Washington Post in 2017.
Lisa Turner, 47, holds her daughter Lucy Kramer, 14, during a candlelight vigil outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington to protest the destruction of Roe v Wade
Abortion rights supporters protest after United States Supreme Court overturned historic Roe v Wade decision on Friday
Senator Canavan, who represents Queensland, also cited data provided to the Queensland Parliament by then Health Minister Cameron Dick in 2016, which showed that 200 babies had been born alive after abortions in the state since 2005.
“It’s not the most common type of abortion, but they do happen,” he said of late abortions.
“Our laws should definitely reflect what we think is right or wrong, not what we think is more common.”
He said it was wrong for late abortions “except in the rarest and exceptional cases,” adding: That’s not what our laws now enforce.”
“I don’t think this issue of late abortions has had enough discussion when those laws were changed.”
In a tweet, he called late abortions “barbaric” and said they would be banned.
In a discussion on the NSW abortion law in 2019, opposition leader Peter Dutton said he supports abortion but thinks 22 weeks is “too late”.
Senator Canavan said Australia is ‘isolated’ from the world because only six other countries allow elective abortions after 20 weeks
“It’s ultimately up to the mother, but 22 weeks is too late,” he said.
“I mean, if you google an image of a 22 week old fetus… I think it’s a very difficult circumstance for women in any of those situations, but that’s the most controversial element of the NSW debate and I would don’t vote for it on that basis.’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he supported NSW’s law to allow abortions up to 22 weeks and beyond with the approval of two doctors.
“I think women have the right to choose,” he said.
On Friday, the United States Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that gave women the constitutional right to abortion.
The move allowed conservative states to immediately ban or restrict abortions and sparked mass protests across the country.
Abortion Laws in Australia
TO TRADE: Up to 16 weeks
NSW: Up to 22 weeks and beyond, two doctors can approve the procedure
NT: Up to 24 weeks and beyond, two doctors can approve the procedure
QLD: Up to 22 weeks and beyond, two doctors can approve the procedure
SA: From July 7 to 22 weeks and after that, two doctors can approve the procedure
TA: Up to 16 weeks and beyond, two doctors can approve the procedure
VIC: Up to 24 weeks and beyond, two doctors can approve the procedure
WA: Up to 20 weeks