Threats of reprisals against Queensland MPs who voted to legalise abortion


October 18, 2018 11:58:45

Pro-life groups have threatened MPs who voted to remove abortion from Queensland’s criminal code, vowing to remove them from office.

Key points:

  • The laws which allow access to abortion up to 22 weeks passed 50 to 41
  • Three LNP MPs voted with the Government after being given a conscience vote
  • Cherish Life says it will target any MPs who supported the reforms saying they’re “unfit for office”

MPs were given a conscience vote in Parliament and voted 50 to 41 to reform the 19th century laws.

The legislation means abortions will be available, on request, up to 22 weeks’ gestation.

Termination would also be allowed after 22 weeks, with the agreement of two medical practitioners that “in all the circumstances” the abortion should be performed.

Three LNP Opposition MPs used their free vote to support the Government’s legislation, including former Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls, Steve Minnikin and Jann Stuckey.

They voted against their party’s endorsed policy on abortion.

Teeshan Johnson, from pro-life group Cherish Life, said they would launch targeted campaigns to attack MPs who supported the laws and their future election chances.

“This has strengthened Cherish Life’s resolve to remove pro-abortion MPs at the next state election,” she said.

“As the first responsibility of government is to protect innocent human life, these politicians have shown themselves to be unfit for public office.”

So-called “safe-access zones” of 150 metres will also be established around termination and fertility clinics to prevent protesters approaching and hassling women and their families.

One Government MP, Jo-Ann Miller, voted against her own party’s proposal, and Logan MP Linus Power abstained from voting altogether.

Independent Sandy Bolton and Greens MP Michael Berkman also backed the legislative reform.

Over several days, MPs gave emotional speeches about their position on the issue, with many breaking down in tears, highlighting the sensitive nature of the controversial bill.

Some MPs addressed the threats, which included internal party pressure warning their preselection would be rejected or jeopardised if they voted against party lines.

“I … reject absolutely any improper threats or improper inducement made to influence my position on this bill,” Mr Nicholls said.

“It wasn’t an easy step, it goes against obviously the party policy and quite a few other comments and concerns that people had, so I didn’t make it lightly.

“I made it after a lot of consideration, but I think it’s the right decision and I think it is and will be seen to be a very historic day for the right reasons.

“I accept that people won’t like the decision I’ve made, but ultimately that is down to me and my conscience.”

Ms Stuckey said the decision had lost her “many hours of sleep”.

“There were some areas I had of concern — at the end of the day, though, I did feel that it was time that termination was decriminalised and that women should be able to make a choice,” she said.

“Although it might be marked as an historic piece of legislation and archaic laws being changed, for me and most of my colleagues it’s not a cause of celebration.

“I was most comforted by the text my husband sent me straight away — my husband being a GP who had studied obstetrics years ago — who just said, ‘I’m so proud of you for having the courage to stand by your own conscience’.

“That probably carries more weight in this world than anything for me.”

Mr Minnikin also said he appreciated the controversial nature of the issue, but needed to vote with his conscience.

How your MP voted

Support Against Abstain
Annastacia Palaszczuk / Inala Deb Frecklington / Nanango Linus Power / Logan
Jackie Trad/South Brisbane Stephen Andrew / Mirani
Mark Bailey / Miller Ros Bates / Mudgeeraba
Michael Berkman / Maiwar David Batt / Bundaberg
Sandy Bolton / Noosa Stephen Bennett / Burnett
Nikki Boyd / Pine Rivers Jarrod Bleijie / Kawana
Don Brown / Capalaba Mark Boothman / Theodore
Glenn Butcher / Gladstone Colin Boyce / Callide
Craig Crawford / Barron River Jason Costigan / Whitsunday
Yvette D’Ath / Redcliffe Michael Crandon / Coomera
Cameron Dick / Woodridge David Crisafulli / Broadwater
Mick de Brenni / Springwood Nick Dametto / Hinchinbrook
Leeanne Enoch / Algester Michael Hart / Burleigh
Di Farmer / Bulimba Marty Hunt / Nicklin
Shannon Fentiman / Waterford David Janetzki / Toowoomba South
Mark Furner / Ferny Grove Robbie Katter / Traeger
Julianne Gilbert / Mackay Shane Knuth / Hill
Grace Grace / McConnel Jon Krause / Scenic Rim
Aaron Harper / Thuringowa John-Paul Langbroek / Surfers Paradise
Michael Healy / Cairns Dale Last / Burdekin
Stirling Hinchliffe / Sandgate Ann Leahy / Warrego
Jennifer Howard / Ipswich James Lister / Souther Downs
Kate Jones / Cooper Tim Mander / Everton
Joe Kelly / Greenslopes Mark McArdle / Caloundra
Shane King / Kurwongbah Jim McDonald / Lockyer
Brittney Lauga / Keppel Brent Mickelberg / Buderim
Leanne Linard / Nudgee Lachlan Miller / Gregory
Cynthia Lui / Cook Jo-Ann Miller / Bundamba
Anthony Lynham / Stafford Rob Molhoek / Southport
Jim Madden / Ipswich West Sam O’Connor / Bonney
Melissa McMahon / Macalister Tony Perrett / Gympie
Corrine McMillan / Mansfield Andrew Powell / Glass House
Bart Mellish / Aspley Dan Purdie / Ninderry
Steve Miles / Murrumba Mark Robinson / Oodgeroo
Steve Minnikin / Chatsworth Christian Rowan / Moggill
Charis Mullen / Jordan Fiona Simpson / Maroochydore
Tim Nicholls / Clayfield Ted Sorensen / Hervey Bay
Coralee O’Rourke / Mundingburra Ray Stevens / Mermaid Beach
Barry O’Rourke / Rockhampton Trevor Watts / Toowoomba North
Joan Pease / Lytton Pat Weir / Condamine
Duncan Pegg / Stretton Simone Wilson / Pumicestone
Jess Pugh / Mount Ommaney
Kim Richards / Redlands
Peter Russo / Toohey
Mark Ryan / Morayfield
Bruce Saunders / Maryborough
Meaghan Scanlon / Gaven
Scott Stewart / Townsville
Jann Stuckey / Currumbin
Chris Whiting / Bancroft















First posted

October 18, 2018 11:55:22

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