Toowoomba GP Dr Donna Purcell
Toowoomba GP Dr Donna Purcell Kevin Farmer

Toowoomba GP warns against changes to abortion law

A TOOWOOMBA GP is warning against proposed changes to Queensland's abortion laws which could see terminations performed almost up to the time of birth.

The proposed bill before the state parliament would decriminalise abortion, allowing the procedure up to 22 weeks for any reason at all, and after that with the permission of two doctors for a wide range of socio-economic reasons.

Toowoomba GP and president of the Toowoomba branch of Cherish Life Queensland, Dr Donna Purcell, said these could be any two doctors, "even fellow abortionists".

She said women who have had an abortion could develop mental health issues that remain for some time.

"We know that it can cause emotional and psychological damage (to the woman) that can last for years," Dr Purcell said.

"If they're going to allow abortions in later stages we're going to get more of that.

"We have concern for both mother and child.

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"After three months it's a fully formed human being, it's undeniably a human being and demands respect.

"Advocates of this legislation would deceive the public into regarding abortion at any age as just another medical procedure, but no other medical procedure has as its only aim the killing of another human being. It flies in the face of both science and humanity that they can pretend they are doing no wrong."

Currently abortions are performed in Queensland public hospitals for life threatening conditions and for serious or lethal foetal abnormality.

Proposed legislation could also force doctors against their will or beliefs to perform the procedure.

"There is a provision (in proposed legislation) that a doctor can't refuse to perform or refer the abortion to another doctor to perform it which has the effect to push doctors to do it under duress.

"It could dissuade doctors from going into obstetrics and instead go into some other area of medicine."

Dr Purcell urged concerned residents to contact their State MP to voice their concerns about the proposed legislation.

"They should contact their local member of parliament as well as the office of the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition," she said.

A rally against the legislation in Brisbane at the weekend attracted a crowd of 4000 which marched on Parliament House.