Infant Viability Bill 2015

The Infant Viability Bill was an attempt at an incremental step to restore full legal protection to unborn children from 24 weeks onwards in Victoria. The legislation defeated in the Legislative Assembly by 27 votes to 11 in May 2016.

Click on the link here to read more about frequently asked questions about this Bill.

Answers questions such as:

  • What are the key points of the Infant Viability Bill 2015?
  • What about in situations of rape, incest, mother being diagnosed with an illness, mother is suicidal or there are unforeseen traumatic life circumstances? What if a woman has been unable to access an abortion earlier due to family violence or failure of anticipated emotional and economic support? What if a woman is in denial about being pregnant?
  • What about in cases “where the foetus has genetic abnormalities that would create great suffering”? Or where a foetus has “defects that mean it may not live if the woman went to full term in her pregnancy”? 
  • What is meant by a ‘medical emergency’ and what is allowed?
  • In a medical emergency, will the mother’s life or baby’s life be prioritized? Will a doctor have “no choice” but to prioritise the baby?
  • What about in cases where there is no medical emergency?
  • Are doctors allowed to provide palliative care to babies that cannot survive?
  • Will women actually receive the help they need?
  • What does the Bill mean by a woman in ‘distress’?
  • Will the Bill criminalise women?
  • Will the Bill put Victoria on par with the most repressive abortion laws in the world? Is the Abortion Law Reform Act truly reflective of best practice in clinical and public health?
  • Why will a doctor or hospital be penalised for performing an abortion after 24 weeks?
  • Does the Bill politicise something that should be private, forcing the wider community to comply with something that they do not support?

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