Wendy Francis on Sky News July 2022

Wendy Francis with Sky News Reporter – “That Sounds Like Murder”

21 July 2022

7.9 MINS

Will the overturning of Roe v. Wade affect Australian attitudes and laws regarding abortion? What challenges do we face here in particular? Wendy Francis shared her concerns and moral convictions on national television recently.

The indomitable Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby was interviewed a few weeks ago on Sky News by journalist Laura Jayes, asking why she had made a statement that she hoped the Dobbs decision will impact Australian laws.

Wendy explained:

“Last year there were a number of different initiatives put forward by pro-life people to the government, and they were things that I think people across the board would think were reasonable. There were things like, babies born alive should be given the same care as any baby, whether it’s wanted or unwanted. Things like sex-selection abortions should not be given Medicare funding. Those were the sort of things that we were hoping our government would attend to.

And I think there is a pro-life movement rising up around the world, and this is just indicated by what’s happened in the US, although I do think that some of the reporting coming out the US is presenting a different picture to what’s actually happened. Because certainly, abortion has not been made illegal.”

Divisive, or Democratic?

Jayes interrupted:

“It’s no longer a constitutional right, and it has further divided America. Why would you want to import that kind of politics here to Australia?”

Wendy pointed out:

“Actually, the opposite thing has happened… what’s happened is that it has gone back to a democratic vote… It has been taken out of the hands of unelected judges and been put back, the same way as in Australia, put back to the people who vote for their elected representatives. It’s been put back to the states. I think it’s very democratic what has happened.”

Jayes countered:

“Why should any individual woman’s medical circumstances be up to a democratic vote?”

Wendy replied:

“Why should a woman’s health be up to unelected judges? Not just a woman’s health, but all of our health. In Australia we have an amazing health system, and our state health systems are run by state governments right across the board. I think that we have the right as people who elect our representatives, to choose who we believe will best represent the best health (outcomes) for us.”

Missing Girls and Hard Cases

Jayes retorted:

“Abortion is a highly personal issue. Why should politics or religion have any say in the health of a woman and her personal choice?”

Wendy reasoned:

“I would say it is a personal issue, but all health is a personal issue. What we’re talking about here, and particularly the things that I mentioned over the weekend that seem to have alarmed so many people — we’re talking about sex-selection abortion that’s growing in Australia. Across the board, this is not just a religious issue. This is an issue that alarms feminists across the world, that there are so many millions of missing girl babies, and we don’t want to see that get more and more popular in Australia.”

Jayes dismissed her, claiming:

“I think you’re talking about things that don’t exist, so let’s stick on the decision in America. Abortion has been banned in six states without exception for the mother, so if the mother’s health is in peril, that’s not taken into account. Abortion is banned in eight states without exception for rape. Abortion is banned in nine states without exception for incest. Does that sit well with you?”

Wendy responded:

“Certainly, any coercion towards an abortion, whether to have an abortion or not to have an abortion, doesn’t sit well with me.”

Jayes insisted,

“That’s not my question. If a woman is raped, should she be allowed to have an abortion, if a doctor says (so) and those checks and balances are in place?”

Wendy said,

“If a woman is raped, I would say that giving a horrendous operation is not necessarily the answer, but a woman who is raped should be given true options and true choice, and I don’t believe we are necessarily given that, even here in Australia.

“But Laura, I need to correct some of the things you’re saying, because the sex-selection abortions are happening in Australia. There are news reports all the time, it is rising here in Australia, and so it’s not good enough to say, ‘Well, that’s not happening,’ we need to look at reality. I do want to look at reality, and sex-selection abortions are happening right across our nation… what are we able to affect here in Australia that will be best for our entire community?”

Jayes was sceptical.

“So you’re saying that doctors are allowing women to have abortions just because they didn’t want to have a baby girl or a baby boy? That’s happening in Australia?”

Wendy assented: “Correct, right.”

Jayes finally got it: “That sounds like murder to me. So where is this happening?”

Wendy replied,

“I’m happy to send you the recent news reports on this. There was even a doctor who had to go through the whole rigmarole of whether he was going to be deregistered because he refused to refer one of the Australian couples for a sex-selection abortion. This is happening in Australia. These are the sort of things I’ve been bringing up over the weekend, and unfortunately they’ve been conflated with ‘the US is banning abortion’, which is not happening.”

The sex of a baby can be detected as early as 10 weeks gestation. In August 2018, Aisha Dow reported in The Age:

A phenomenon of “missing girls” could be afflicting Victoria, as a study of more than a million births suggests some parents could be aborting unborn female babies or undergoing embryo selection overseas in order to have a son.

… in findings researchers say indicate “systematic discrimination against females starts in the womb”, mothers within some key migrant communities are recording sons at rates of 122 and 125 for every 100 daughters in later pregnancies.

This is in line with trends in countries like India:

Since 1990, approximately 15.8 million girls in India have been denied the right to be born because of sex-selective abortion and other forms of prenatal sex selection, according to a report from the Population Research Institute. In India today approximately 111 boys are born for every 100 girls, a clear indication that sex-selection is commonly practiced.

Women’s Health

Jayes continued,

“No, (the US Supreme Court is) removing (abortion) as a constitutional right, so what is agreed in America is that no, the states have already acted on this. I just gave you the list of states. Nine states will not allow abortion even if there’s incest involved. So I mean, you’re really arguing the grey lines here. Essentially, this does not ban abortion, it just bans safe abortion.”

Wendy replied:

“There will be elections coming up, and people will have the right to remove the elected representatives if they are unhappy with what they’re saying. Can I also say, this decision has been a long time coming. This decision is about whether or not you can actually have abortion legislation in the Constitution. Right across the board, legal scholars across the political and ideological spectrum, they have been saying for many, many years, decades actually, that this is not –”

Jayes interrupted again:

“The irony of what you’re saying is, academics, courts, elected officials, all meddling in an area where it’s women’s lives that are in peril. I mean… circumstances that (they) know nothing about, religious bodies and state elected officials now want to meddle in this area. It just puts women’s lives at risk. Do you accept that people will still get abortions, they’ll just go to facilities that maybe aren’t as safe, or travel across state borders?”

Wendy:

“I pray not. Unfortunately, there are centres at the moment who are offering help to women that are also being bombarded by protestors outside, and that makes me really sad. When you’re talking about people meddling where they shouldn’t be, the academics and the court, that’s exactly what they are, they’re unelected representatives.

“The democratic system in America and also here gives us the right to decide who will represent us, and that’s what’s happened in the US. In the US, this whole decision about abortion, and it’s been a long discussion — even one of the gentlemen that was on the interview prior to me coming on, was saying that this is one of the biggest moral issues of our time — this has gone back to the people. And let’s get more women in parliament.”

Jayes does not seem to understand that laws and regulations for healthcare have to be put in place by the government, preferably the legislative branch, and it is impossible for abortion policy to exist in a vacuum without the “meddling” of elected officials.

Moral Foundations

Jayes: “It’s a confused argument though. Let’s go back to basics. Where in the Bible does it say abortion is against God?”

Wendy: “Well, the verse that would be used would be, ‘Do not kill.’”

Jayes, confused: “Right. So what if a woman’s life is at risk?”

Wendy: “Definitely, the woman’s life should be saved, absolutely. Because if the woman’s life is at risk and she’s carrying a baby and she dies, the baby’s going to die as well. At least we’re saving one and not losing two.”

Jayes: “Justice Thomas has also said that now, the court should go further, looking to ban the constitutional right to contraception. What do you think about that?”

Wendy:

“My husband and I used contraception, and again, I don’t think that should be something in the courts. I don’t know why the courts are making these decisions, because in a democratic system, we vote for people who should represent us and what we believe, and in a democracy, it’s the majority of people who vote — we’ve just seen it in our federal election. A lot of Australians would not be necessarily happy with who is in, but it’s a democratic system, and I love it, I love our democracy.

So for the next three years, we will have a government that will lead us in a path, that are there because we have voted them in, and the same will happen in the US. So for the US (courts talking about banning contraception, I just don’t see that or abortion or these health issues should be looked after by people in the courts. They should be in the hands of elected representatives that we have the rights to either vote or vote out.”

Despite a rather hostile and ill-informed interlocutor, Wendy Francis managed to clearly put her points across and outline the pressing issues surrounding abortion in Australia today.

Latest Developments

Sadly, the latest local news is this:Abortion-maps-NewsWeekly-July2022

“A national approach to abortion laws will be canvassed at a face-to-face meeting of the country’s women’s ministers in Adelaide this week.

All eight state and territory ministers are in favour of discussing a new ​framework that would see each state streamline their abortion legislation and make the procedure more accessible and affordable for women.

Abortion is legal throughout Australia but each state and territory has different rules about when, where, and how women can access terminations.”

As News Weekly recently demonstrated via infographics, Australia has a far more uniform approach to abortion than the USA. We have the worst possible legislation for babies in the womb.

Dr Gerard M Nadal, president and CEO of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, recently observed:

“History tells us of the nightmares and holocausts that ensue every time a given group of humans is denied personhood status:

  • Slavery (Dred Scott)
  • Segregation (Plessy)
  • Forced Sterilizations (Buck v. Bell)
  • Internment Camps for US citizens (Korematsu)
  • The Holocaust (Nuremberg Laws)
  • Abortion (Roe)”

May we take heart from the developments in the USA and persist in turning the red tide of abortion in our nation, so that future generations may have the chance to simply live.

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2 Comments

  1. Bronwyn Bye 21 July 2022 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Because of what is taught in schools many parents are caused the grief of finding out abortion has happened without their knowledge and opportunity to assist. Lies are destroying lives and causing grief alround! The pain I carry as a grandmother denied the right to help still hurts because the girls are being lied to and children murdered for no reason other than inconvenience/coercion/sex selection. All the most common practices today.

  2. Fiona 23 July 2022 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Thank you Wendy for bringing sense to this debate and highlighting to the reporter what is actually happening here in Australia.

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