Babies dying alone on hospital tables – unacceptable in Queensland: Katter

Mar 21, 2024

Babies should never be left to die without medical care and treatment in modern-day Queensland, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.

“It is unconscionable that our state’s legislation is silent on how aborted babies born alive should be cared for.”

Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter MP has introduced legislation into the Queensland Parliament to enshrine the human rights of all babies born in Queensland.

“I was shocked and appalled to hear that more than 30 babies are born alive after being aborted each year in Queensland.

“In 2018, a study reported in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reviewed 241 late-term abortions without feticide on babies between 20-24 weeks gestation and found that more than half the babies were born alive, with a median time of survival of 32 minutes and one baby surviving for over four hours (267 minutes).

“The former Health Minister, now Premier, in 2018 introduced legal abortion up to birth, and told Queenslanders that the number of abortions would not rise.  That is a lie – they have doubled, from 152 in 2018 to 304 in 2021.

“More abortions mean more children, human beings like you and I, are born alive,” Mr. Katter said.

In 2020 a Queensland baby girl named Xanthe was born alive after her mother chose to have an abortion at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

KAP Leader, Robbie Katter told the Queensland parliament that Xanthe was born at 19 weeks of age and was left to die in a room on her own.

“My heart breaks hearing these horrifying stories of human lives, babies who were breathing the same air that you and I breathe, who were deprived of human rights and dignity,” he said.

Leading birth equality advocate and Professor of Law at University Adelaide, Dr Joanna Howe, said it is the tragic story of Xanthe that exposes the torture and cruelty experienced by so many more like her.

“Left alone to die for 7 minutes, gasping for breath and without anyone to give her comfort care, Xanthe was abandoned by the Queensland medical system – the system that is meant to care for every patient – every human,” she said.

Mr Katter told the House that “this Bill enshrines in legislation the human rights of all babies born in Queensland. It brings us in line with legislative best practice in NSW and South Australia.

“It means we draw a line in the sand between the barbaric practice of leaving newborn babies to die after an abortion and we close that chapter and say, never again in Queensland.” Mr Katter said.