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05 / 08 / 2010 - Australian MP calls for abortion inquiry
An Australian MP is calling for a State Parliamentary inquiry into the deaths of babies born alive after failed abortions.
Member for Western Victoria Peter Kavanagh said official investigations into failed abortions had suggested medical staff were denying care to babies.
He will present a motion to Parliament today based on figures from the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity 2007 annual report.
They show that of the 181 late-term foetuses that were aborted for abnormalities at about 26 to 28 weeks, 54 survived but all of them died "post-natally" in the period studied. "Surely all medical personnel owe a duty of care to every person in this situation - even those they have just tried to abort," Mr Kavanagh said.
"The facts suggest that this obligation is not being fulfilled and that these babies are being left to die. This matter fully warrants investigation by the Parliament."
Mr Kavanagh said the investigations suggested staff made an "unsurprising but completely unjustified assumption" that babies born alive after failed abortions did not have a right to life or to medical attention.
In his motion, Mr Kavanagh will ask Parliament to note that "babies born after 26 to 28 weeks of gestation have a very high chance of survival if given even minimal care, and that the death of every one of these babies in the period studied therefore suggests that they were neglected to death, if not deliberately killed".
He also calls for the family and community development committee to inquire into the post-natal deaths of babies born alive in Victoria after failed abortions.
Source: MARY ALEXANDER - The Standard