I apologise that this will be the first rally that I am unable to attend since I was elected to Parliament in 2008. I am disappointed because as I have said previously, I consider the rally the most significant of all rallies held at Parliament each year. It consistently attracts the largest number of attendees and yet ironically it is consistently ignored by our mainstream media.
As promised, here is a brief update on my prolife efforts since last year’s rally:
- In August I was appointed to serve on the eight member Select Committee on End of Life Choices. The committee has received more than 650 submissions a majority of which are opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicide. In addition the committee has held 81 public hearings including one with the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life. The Committee is due to report by 23 August 2018.
- In November I had the privilege of tabling the largest petition tabled in the Legislative Council last year. I am indebted to the Coalition for organising it and to the 7,243 petitioners who signed it. The following month I provided the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs my submission which is available online. I have since written again to the committee to implore them not to accept the five short paragraphs from the Minister in April this year as an acceptable response to the case of the 27 Western Australian babies born alive but left to die. It is truly astounding that the media have not thought this worthy of attention. It must be emphasised that 6 of those babies were born at 26 weeks or later! I can think of no other situation in our State where a child left to die would not provoke an outcry.
- Lastly, you will recall that in February 2015 I secured a commitment that all late-term abortions in our State would be the subject of a new annual report to the Minister for Health. Answers to my questions in parliament have revealed that reports were prepared in 2014/15 and 2015/16 but that in both instances they were altered. To make matters worse those reports have been kept secret. As a consequence I have two complaints being prosecuted at this time. The first has been with the Auditor General since October last year.
The second has been with the Freedom of Information Commissioner since November. Both of those offices tell me that decisions are pending. In the meantime it is worth noting with distress that since 2002 at least 43 late-term abortions have occurred because the baby had Down syndrome.
Once again I convey my sincerest apologies for my unavailability to attend the rally this year due to a longstanding personal commitment.
Hon Nick Goiran MLC
Member for the South Metropolitan Region
Shadow Minister for Child Protection; Prevention of Family & Domestic Violence