Australian Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge urged politicians Wednesday to consider the rights of all individuals involved in abortion before voting on a new pro-abortion bill.
“To speak of a woman’s rights is important, but what of the rights of unborn children, or do they have no real human status?” the Brisbane archbishop asked.
CNA reports Coleridge’s comments were directed toward legislation that would legalize abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks in Queensland. The bill also would allow abortions up to birth as long as a woman receives permission from two doctors.
“When you talk about abortion, you’re talking about two lives: the mother and the child, and both lives matter,” he told the Catholic Leader. “According to the draft bill, abortion will be permitted until the moment of delivery if two doctors consider that ‘in all circumstances, the termination should be performed.’
“Those MPs who favor the legislation should say why they can accept that Queensland babies who may have reached 40 weeks gestation can be aborted when health isn’t a factor,” he continued.
The legislation also includes a 150-meter buffer zone that would prohibit pro-life advocates from reaching women outside abortion facilities, according to the report. Conscience protections for doctors also are limited.
Parliament is slated to consider the bill this month.
Coleridge said the legislation is not “pro-choice” but “pro-abortion.”
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“Many women choose abortion because they feel or are made to feel that they have no other choice, when in fact they do,” he said. “But the other choices aren’t presented to them by those who favor abortion.”
He continued: “If we say that one life matters and the other doesn’t or that it isn’t a life at all, we sign on to what Pope Francis calls ‘the throw-away culture’. But the catch with abortion is that it’s life we’re throwing away.”
Queensland currently protects unborn babies from abortion except when a doctor determines the mother’s health is in serious danger. Australian states’ abortion laws vary, with some protecting unborn babies in most circumstances and others allowing wide-spread abortion on demand.