The Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008 can be read in its entirety at Austlii.
The emergency provisions are not complicated or difficult to understand. They are as follows:
Despite any conscientious objection to abortion, a registered medical practitioner is under a duty to perform an abortion in an emergency where th abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.
Despite any conscientious objection to abortion, a registered nurse is under a duty to assist a registered medical practitioner in performing an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.
This Bill is quite straightforward on the matter. It means that if you are a doctor or a nurse, and you have a women in front of you who will die in the immediate future unless she has an abortion, you have an obligation to save her life.
The Catholic Church is beside itself.
From The Australian: Abortion laws threaten Catholic hospitals
The Catholic Church’s extensive network of hospitals in Victoria faces a “real threat” from planned new abortion laws, Archbishop Denis Hart says.
He warned parishioners that Catholic-run hospitals might have to stop running conventional maternity and emergency services if Parliament passed the laws.
He warned in a pastoral letter that Catholic staff would face having to break the law if they wanted to maintain anti-abortion beliefs.
Archbishop Hart is throwing a tantrum because he wants Catholic hospitals to reserve the right to let you die – even when there are doctors and nurses by your bedside who could save your life. Archbishop Hart would like those doctors and nurses to stand by, perhaps holding your hand and praying for you, as you breathe your last gasp.
If it’s not an immediate emergency but you’re still going to die without an abortion, Hart wants the hospital to be able to refuse to refer you to someone who will help you live. If you can’t figure out what you need and walk out of the hospital on a self-discharge to seek help, he wants the right to detain you while you expire. Hart’s idea of “medical care” for dying women seems to be calling a chaplain as they beg for help.
The answer? We need this law passed, across the country and not just in Victoria. We need it to be enforced.
Meanwhile, women who would prefer their doctors choose life – theirs – would be well-served by avoiding ever being admitted to a Catholic hospital. Emergencies can happen suddenly and unexpectedly. You never know when you might not be able to leave.
You can find a listing here at Catholic Health Australia. It includes Calvary Health Care, St John of God Hospital, Sacred Heart, Sisters of Charity Health Service, Mercy Hospital, Mercy Care Centre, Werribee Mercy Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, Mater Hospital, Lourdes Hospital, Mater Misericordiae Private Hospital, Canossa Private Hospital, Holy Spirit Northside, Cabrini Hospital, and more.