Aug 31, 2021


Aug 31, 2021

A 60 per cent increase in abortions in Queensland between 2018 – when sweeping termination of pregnancy laws were passed – and 2019 has been sanitised from history by the Palaszczuk Labor Government, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.

Detailing a complaint he has made to the Speaker of the House regarding the issue, Mr Katter said truth was being undermined by the Government and it needed to be called out.

He said he was keenly awaiting the Speaker’s response.

During Question Time on Tuesday, 10th March 2021, Minister D’Ath claimed the number of abortions in Queensland had not risen since the passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018.

“In relation to the statistics about the number of terminations in the public and private sector, I can advise that in 2019 there were 9,496 terminations,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told the House.

“This number has been stable since 2017. In fact, this is a lower number and it has been decreasing since 2013. In 2013 we saw over 12,000 terminations. There were over 11,000 in 2014; 10,800 in 2015; over 10,400 in 2016; and now we are seeing numbers in the 9,000s. That shows that the passing of this legislation has not led to an increase in the number of terminations.”

Mr Katter said this figures were manifestly wrong, and a Right to Information request (number 1823/21 which can be accessed here) has indicated the Minister’s office were aware of the limitations of the data cited in the House.

Medical abortions, namely the MS-2 Step which involves women taking two medications to terminate a pregnancy, are nowadays the majority of abortions in Queensland.

These abortions are usually delivered in an out-patient setting, such as through a GP, and can also be delivered through tele-health known as a “tele-abortion”.

In 2018, 9,297 surgical abortions and 7,446 medical abortions making up a total of 16,743 occurred in Queensland.

Following the passing of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018 on December 3, 2018, which legalised on request abortions up to 22 weeks and after that with the permission of two doctors, the abortion rate in Queensland skyrocketed to 26,583 abortions (9,496 surgical abortions and 17,087 medical abortions).

This is an increase in abortion rate of 60 per cent from one year to the next.

It is unclear what the rate was in 2020, but Mr Katter said he would be keen to know.

Mr Katter said while he, and the KAP, had accepted they had “lost the battle on abortion” (the party strongly opposed the 2018 Bill), it was deeply concerning that the State Government was not being honest about the true impact of their own legislation.

“This issue has been referred to the Speaker and I am keenly awaiting his advice,” he said.

“In my view, the Health Minister has at the very best displayed great ignorance towards the real impacts of Labor’s abortion laws or at worst, deliberately been misleading.

“Either way – this an unacceptable blight on truth and the overarching integrity of our Parliament.

“We are staring down the barrel in the coming weeks of legislative changes that have a similar moral dimension, this time relating to euthanasia, and I think there is a real onus on the Minister – and everyone else who claims to speak with authority on these issues – to at least be honest.”

Mr Katter said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had promised in no uncertain terms in 2018 there would be no increase in the state’s abortion rate if their abortion laws passed, but this had now been proven to be false.

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