Filed on 24 May 2016 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page


Dear praying friend,

Tomorrow (Wednesday May 25 2016) the Infant Viability Bill to ban abortion after 24 weeks will be debated in Victorian Upper House.

This is of extreme importance for human life and particularly for the unborn children of Victoria – and Queensland where legislation similar to the horrific 2008 legislation in Victoria is being put forward. See http://www.chooselifeaustralia.org.au/life/the-culture-of-death/ for report on 2008.

Dear friend, this is surely a battle between good and evil and we must pray. Pray also for Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins who has introduced this wonderful bill and pray for those who will stand up and support it.

Below is letter written on behalf of Medicine with Morality.


20 May 2016

Re Infant Viability Bill 2015

The doctors of Medicine with Morality write in support of this bill for two principal reasons.

Firstly, the child can be born alive instead of being killed in-utero.

Secondly, we can no longer assume the baby is not pain conscious as he or she is being killed. It is most likely that the baby experiences pain

In pregnancy doctors have two patients to consider. The pain experienced by the baby as it is killed cannot in justice simply be dismissed by the wish of the custodian mother.

The hope of the doctors of Medicine with Morality is that one day in the not-too-distant future the community will recover its horror at the present situation in Victoria.

We plead with Members that you will recover your horror first and with a great sense of responsibility support this bill and be a voice for the above.

We could conclude our argument at this point and it should be enough but we will now look at supporting arguments for the above.

Re the health of the custodian mother.

In the case of medical emergency requiring “termination of pregnancy” to preserve the life and health of the mother the pregnancy can be safely terminated by safe delivery of the baby. There is no need to destroy the unborn baby.

The induction of labour or delivery by Caesarean section with the expectation of live birth where possible are valid ways of finishing a pregnancy when this is medically required.

For too long “termination of pregnancy” has become synonymous with foetal destruction – killing the baby – with the implication that this is how it is meant to be and in most instances of mature pregnancy abortion it appears that killing the baby is the supposed intention rather than preservation of the life of the mother.The doctors of Medicine with Morality are in agreement with the 2012 Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare http://www.dublindeclaration.com/

As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.

Re the life of the unborn child

It is a huge injustice that the unborn but viable baby can be killed when it can be born alive and this is reflected in the Preamble to the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) which states inter alia:

Whereas the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth…


Requests for abortion in cases of foetal abnormality incompatible with life:

The baby can be born alive and comforted, cuddled, and loved as it dies. Peri-natal palliative care can help with this process. The psychological benefits for the parent/parents are huge. Grief experienced after this natural process follows a normal pattern. It is a wonderful privilege for medical personnel to be a part of this journey.

Re requests for abortion in cases of foetal abnormality compatible with life:

It is a sad reflection of how little we respect “imperfection” and how much we strive for perfection. There is a waiting list of parents anxious to adopt such babies. Eugenic selection of babies is something that should horrify us with its implications.

The killing of unborn children with Down Syndrome is equivalent to genocide. This is even more reprehensible in light of the fact that there are many families willing to adopt these children.

It is particularly horrifying that we have condoned killing of viable babies because they are the “wrong sex” or where there are minor abnormalities correctable by surgery.

We take it for granted that babies born alive after an early induction and delivery will be given all the attention that other pre-term babies are given.

The question of foetal pain – the pain suffered by the baby as he or she is killed.

It is an incredible reflection on our society that for the sake of maternal autonomy we should give approval to the killing of a baby by methods that would cause outrage if we performed them on an animal.

There is good reason to believe that foetal pain can be felt from 20 weeks and pain pathways are laid down much earlier than that. It has been suggested by some that there is no cerebral awareness or consciousness of pain reception mediated via pain pathways but how can this be proved?  We cannot and must not make decisions based on such assumptions.

We consider that if there is any doubt as to whether the unborn child is pain aware we must assume that he or she is capable of the most horrendous pain imaginable. For discussion of this see http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/.

We urge for a cultural shift in our nation – and in Victoria particularly – to the point that all human life is deemed of value and the child is valued and protected – as per the UN Declaration – before as well as after birth and to recover our sense of horror at what we presently permit. The Members of the Parliament of Victoria have a historic opportunity to recover what has been lost.

Dr Lachlan Dunjey MBBS FRACGP DObstRCOG
33 Bunya St, Dianella WA 6059
Convenor Medicine with Morality 0407 937 513




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