You may recall, and possibly signed, a petition that was included in the July 2017 edition of Life News. It was entitled, Petition in relation to induced premature births in Western Australia. The petition was initially distributed to approximately 1,500 people who attended the 19th Annual Rally for Life on the steps of Parliament House on 23rd May 2017, and subsequently distributed by Life Ministries and several affiliates of the Coalition for the Defence of Human life including the Australian Family Association, FamilyVoice and Australian Christians.
The petition focused on 26 Western Australian babies who were born alive after surviving abortion procedures, but were not provided with treatment, but left to die.
The petition reads as follows:
We the undersigned residents of Western Australia recognise the world-class standard of care provided to premature babies delivered in Western Australia and express our concern that at least 26 Western Australians have been born alive and have not been provided the same treatment and care as other babies delivered at the same gestational age solely because their live birth was the outcome of an abortion. We are distressed to learn that the Ombudsman has stated he has no jurisdiction to investigate these child deaths and that there is a difference of opinion between the Department of Health and the Coroner on whether these deaths are reportable. Worse still we understand that the Department of Child Protection was not notified in any of these cases when self-evidently these children must be at the apex of those at-risk in our State.
Your petitioners therefore respect-fully request the Legislative Council to establish an Inquiry (whether by a Standing or Select Committee) to investigate the systemic failures that:
a) Allowed at least 26 Western Australians to be left to die;
b) Took place without any agency either having jurisdictional investigation and oversight or acting upon their jurisdictional powers of investigation and oversight.
And your petitioners as in duty bound, will ever pray.
By late October over 7,200 people had signed the petition! On Tuesday, 31st October Life Ministries Director Dwight Randall, as the instigator of the petition and the President of the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life was asked to sign off on the petition at Parliament House. The following day, Wednesday, 1st November, the Hon Nick Goiran MLC, distributed a Press Release entitled Petition calls for inquiry into live births after abortions that read in part:
Shadow Minister for Child Protection Nick Goiran received more than 7000-signature petition today from the President of the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life calling on the Legislative Council to establish an inquiry into live births resulting from abortions.
Mr Goiran said lawmakers and the public needed to confront the fact that in Western Australia, between July 1999 and December 2016, there were 27 occasions when babies were born alive following abortions but subsequently denied medical treatment and allowed to die. …
Whatever your view on abortion, the fact remains that these infants survived and at that point they were entitled to the same rights, privileges and access to healthcare as any other West Australian baby. …
The last resort for access to justice is the Legislative Council. My hope is that it will investigate the systemic failures that allowed for these West Australian infants to be left to die.
Later that morning Nick Goiran and Dwight Randall met with several members of the media on the steps of Parliament House. When presenting the petition to Nick Dwight said:
The signatures on this petition represent over 7,000 Western Australians who are deeply distressed that some 27 babies, after surviving abortion procedures and being born alive, were neglected and left to die. They did not receive the appropriate medical care that every born child in this state is entitled to.
We thank you for taking this petition and we urge you to do all that you can. We hope that the Legislative Council will seriously into this matter and rectify this grave injustice.
That afternoon Dwight and Darryl Budge from FamilyVoice were invited to sit in the Legislative Council as Nick presented the petition to the Council.
A little over a week later Dwight received a letter from the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs, dated 9th November 2017, inviting him to provide a written submission on the matters raised in the petition in order to assist the committee in its preliminary investigations. Dwight, with the help of Life Ministries Writer and Editor Andrew Lansdown prepared a submission which was sent on 8 December, prior to the deadline. We cannot provide our readers with the content of the submission until the Standing Committee has determined its status.
We are praying, and would ask you to pray, that the signatures of over 7,200 people concerning these babies born alive, as well as the persistence of the Hon Nick Goiran in pursuing this matter, will result in significant changes for the better.
A brief video of Dwight presenting the petition to the Hon. Nick Goiran can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/familyvoiceaustralia/videos/1239147992852387/