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Queensland Supports ‘Born Alive’ Babies

by | Thu, Oct 12 2023

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The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed a pro-life move by Queensland Health. It reports that the state’s health department has changed its guidelines “in recognition of the increasing number of babies born alive after late term abortions.”

The ACL writes that Queensland Health has amended its Clinical Guidelines for Termination of Pregnancy which previously stated that: If a live birth occurs… Do not provide life sustaining treatment.

Section 5.4.3 of those guidelines now states: Live birth following a termination of pregnancy is an uncommon outcome. If a baby is born with signs of life, provide care appropriate to the individual clinical circumstances and in accordance with best practice guidelines.

In regards to information sharing it advises consideration of: If appropriate to clinical circumstances, discuss with the woman before the procedure, the potential for live birth including preferences for awareness of live birth (e.g. informed immediately at time of birth or information delayed).

It also advises consideration of: The woman’s wishes and preferences for care of the baby, which it is acknowledged may change during the course of the termination and following birth.

In regards to palliative care, the guidelines say: Where the baby is born with signs of life and survival is determined to be unlikely, active treatment (e.g. gastric tubes, IV lines, oxygen therapy) is not indicated or recommended as these may prolong palliation and cause distress.

They also advise:

  • Handle gently and carefully, wrap and cuddle/hold to provide warmth and comfort
  • Offer opportunities to engage in care provision (e.g. cuddling/holding) as desired
  • If parents do not wish to be involved in palliative care provision, healthcare providers may provide comfort support strategies

In relation to service support, the guidelines advise:

  • Establish local procedures for the management of live birth
  • Provide sensitive emotional support and reassurance to parents
  • Offer counselling and support services to women, partners and healthcare professionals involved with care of a live born child

ACL state director Rob Norman hailed the policy change, saying: “This news is a win for babies and a win for the pro-life movement. Queensland babies previously left to die after failed abortions will now be entitled to the same care as other wanted babies at the same gestation, including, where necessary, palliative care.”

“We can now be optimistic of reforming abortion laws across the country. The Born Alive Bill tabled in federal parliament by Senators Canavan, Babet and Antic is yet to be considered in the Senate. The Queensland Health acknowledgement of these babies will no doubt contribute to the Senate discussion and decision,” Mr. Norman predicted.

ACL thanks Cherish Life Queensland, our faithful supporters, pro-life MP’s, conscientious objectors, and whistleblowers within the medical system, as well as other advocates who have fought tirelessly and compassionately for justice for these littlest Queenslanders,” he concluded.

The Australia Christian Lobby called on State and Federal Governments to move past their denial that babies are being born alive after abortions and legislate to protect all live births.