In Abortion, Life Advocacy

A speech by Hon Nick Goiran at the 19th Annual Rally for Life.

Hon Nick Goiran, MLC

It is a pleasure to be with you once again this year—my eighth year that I have been here for the Rally for Life and I just want to acknowledge those of you who have been here every year for 19 years. It’s a wonderful testimony, it’s a wonderful witness. As a pro-life member of parliament, I thank you for continuing to turn out each and every year, and might I say in larger numbers every year. It is a great encouragement.

Now, about two weeks ago I was contacted by a journalist who rang me—I have not spoken to this journalist ever before—and she said, “I believe you are talking at a rally” and I said, “Yes, you must be talking about the Rally for Life.” The journalist asked me, “Why are you being involved with this rally? Why are you attending? Why will you be speaking?” It’s quite strange in this day and age, and I asked the journalist if she had ever been to the Rally for Life. I said, “It is actually an annual rally, and this is the 19th year that they are holding it.” She indicated that she had never been before and I encouraged her to attend and see what it is like for herself. Now I don’t know if she is here this evening or not, but I do think that it’s a good opportunity for us to remind ourselves why is it that a thousand or fifteen hundred people keep turning out each and every year on a cold night—it was looking like it was going to rain today, and it didn’t dissuade you from coming. Why is it that we keep doing this?

There are a number of reasons for me. Firstly, we often hear about the number of deaths that take place in Western Australia for a terrible disease, which is cancer. In Western Australia we have about 3,000 to 4,000 deaths per year for cancer, and it is a terrible thing and we pay tribute to the workers in palliative care who are helping people suffering from terminal and chronic diseases, and we pay tribute to the people who are involved in research to try to find a cure. About 3,000 to 4,000 deaths a year for cancer and it is talked about a lot. There is a lot of media coverage given to this terrible disease, to this killer of three to four thousand Western Australians per year.

Why do I keep coming to the Rally for Life? Because we have more than 8000 deaths a year. It’s the number one killer of West Australians and it is never, ever talked about. It is never reported by the media and that is why I keep coming every year. And that is why all of you keep coming here every year.

The second reason that I keep coming out every year is that in 2010, in my second year in the parliament, one of my parliamentary colleagues asked a question about how many babies had been born alive after an abortion. And the answer that was provided was fourteen. It was also revealed that no medical treatment or care was provided to those 14 babies. That is yet another reason why we keep coming out here. In this day and age, in the 21st century, would you believe that we need to come out and talk about this issue, and rally for this issue? It is unbelievable that with our first-class health system in Western Australia that there could have been 14 babies left to die in a West Australian hospital.

We keep coming out because we have uncovered in parliament over the last few years that there have been late-term abortions routinely taking place for conditions which are compatible with life—because somebody was said to have been diagnosed with Down syndrome or spina-bifida or dwarfism. That is why we keep coming out every year.

When we asked further questions about it in parliament a new report was created. The panel that makes these decisions for late-term abortions now has to report every year to the Health Minister. This is the second year that they have had to report.

We keep coming out every year, because still to this day, despite the fact that they have to provide this new annual report, the report is never released in parliament. When we ask for it to be released, it is supressed. That’s why we keep coming out every year, because it is not true accountability or transparency in this unique area of healthcare. It is the one area of healthcare in Western Australia where there is no accountability or transparency.

And we keep coming out here every year because sadly, that number that I spoke of earlier — 14 babies being born alive after a late term abortion—it is a miracle that they survived—that number is now 26. And still to this day the parliament of which I am a member refuses to hold an inquiry into this matter. We have asked the Ombudsman—he says he doesn’t have the jurisdiction. We asked the Coroner—the previous Coroner said that he didn’t have jurisdiction. The Health Department says that the matter is not reportable. What we are asking for is true accountability in this area of health. We are not asking for any more than that.  That’s why we keep coming out every year.

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