There is something slavish in the legislative efforts of the Australian state governments to pander to the demands of selfish women who want nothing less than the legal right to kill their children so they can pursue their careers.
An effort was made in the Queensland Criminal Code, 1899 to define the criminality of unlawful killing. Since unlawful killing permeates all criminal law, it needed to be distinguished from a death that resulted from natural causes. Sir Samuel Griffiths, probably the second cleverest lawyer to grace the High Court approached it as follows.
He defined a ‘person’ as a child who was born alive, whether or not it was breathing or still connected to the mother. As a person, its death could be unlawful. The reason for this definition should be obvious. Pregnant women often miscarry and a woman was not criminally responsible for the infant’s death.
The Code also protected the unborn ‘child’ from an abortion, the procuring of which was, until recently, unlawful. Griffith’s Code, therefore, distinguished for criminal purposes between a ‘person’ and an unborn ‘child’ without once sacrificing the child’s humanity to wokeness. It protected the child from being killed and the mother from criminal responsibility for her miscarriage.
I would be surprised if there is anyone who would support the killing of another human being, let alone their own child. It is surprising, however, how the supporters of abortion on demand, are so passionate in their condemnation of domestic violence while making the most facile arguments, declaring that unborn children are not human. Most often, they call the unborn a foetus, as if the need for more growth is sufficient to deprive a human child, what is a potential adult, of its humanity. Others, hoping to avoid the opprobrium of advocating the killing of children, spin the positive and call the killing ‘health care’; the woman will be so much better afterwards.
A draft bill is being introduced into the New South Wales parliament by a ‘person’ called AH Greenwich MP, which is called the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 (the “Meantime Bill”). The Meantime Bill doesn’t refer to ‘child’ or ‘infant’ or anything that will identify the object of the death sentence. It doesn’t even refer to ‘woman’.
The Meantime Bill is, like its sponsor, very very woke. The object of the Greenwich Meantime Bill is to permit a ‘termination on a person’ who is pregnant. It introduces the whole woke equality experience, encompassing pregnant women, pregnant men and, it seems those who can’t make up their mind because of a mental illness. It successfully delegitimises the female gender’s exclusive claim to motherhood. Greenwich is so woke.
The word ’foetus’ occurs once in the Meantime Bill. At s 6(3)(b) a ‘termination’ may be performed on a pregnant person (note, not a pregnant woman) to “save another foetus”. The Meantime Bill does not define ‘foetus’ in order to keep the cat in the bag. It defines a termination, however, as ’termination of a pregnancy’ by drugs or instruments, without specifying that the object of the termination is to kill the unborn child.
As it does not define ‘pregnancy’ and does not refer to the infant, the only action that the Greenwich Meantime Bill permits is ending the pregnancy of a person. What happens to the infant after its connection to the mother is severed is not covered. The termination must be accomplished, seemingly, without killing the infant. The doctor is not, however, legally justified in killing the infant.
We can assume that, according to the Greenwich Meantime Bill, a child will not survive an abortion up to 22 weeks. And even if it does, leaving the survivor out in the sun for a few hours will finish the job. On the other hand, the termination of an unborn child after 22 weeks gestation does raise a few problems. Children born after 22 weeks, but often after 24 weeks but most assuredly after 35 weeks will survive.
The Meantime Bill permits the termination of the pregnancy, releasing the mother of the pregnancy, but because the Bill is so woke, that has to be accomplished without killing the child. If the doctors do kill the baby after it is born, they could be charged with unlawful killing; but it is unlikely.
If you are familiar with Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, you will recognise that Portia’s ‘pound of flesh’ argument might just apply to a doctor brought up for unlawful killing. Lets hope so.
David Long is a retired solicitor, economist and PhD candidate at Griffith University, School of Law.
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