Queensland RC Church Interfering in Politics


pic: Christopher Dombres

The Church is again attempting to interfere in politics, writing to parents at Queensland Catholic schools regarding the reforms to abortion law presently before parliament. 

New South Wales and Queensland are currently the only states in Australia where abortion remains a criminal offence, rather than a health matter. The Catholic Church wants it to stay that way.

Parents of children attending at least two Queensland Catholic schools have recently received emails from Archbishop Mark Coleridge (via their local bishop) in relation to abortion reform: San Sisto College, a Roman Catholic secondary college for girls in Years 7 – 12, in Carina, South-East Brisbane, and Villanova College, a private, Roman Catholic school for boys in Coorparoo, in the southern suburbs.

Parents are concerned about the deliberate misinformation in the email, which claims that “the draft bill will allow abortion until the day that a baby is born”, and the fact that it is being forwarded to parents.  https://mailchi.mp/bne/alive-ivorys-political-stance-the-beer-garden-god-372611?e=bea6bceff5.


For the second time in two years, the Queensland Parliament will debate whether to make abortion legal. The draft bill will allow abortion until the day that a baby is born – late-term abortions will be legal in Queensland as long as two doctors agree that “in all the circumstances, the termination should be performed”. This will mean that social reasons will be enough for a legal abortion of a full-term baby.

This is uncharted territory for Queensland. We want to know what you think about this proposed legislation.


For the second time in as many years, Queensland faces a Parliamentary vote on abortion.

Last year’s attempt was sunk by poorly drafted legislation. The pro-abortion MPs within the Parliament are trying again this year.

But one thing doesn’t change in this very sensitive debate – the tricky language of abortion.

This year, the pro-abortionists are talking about the fact abortion is a “health issue”. But the legislation they are presenting to the Parliament will allow for abortion until the moment of birth without one reference to health needs.

This is an important moment for Queensland.
Thanks for your time,

Archbishop Mark Coleridge 

The law not only decriminalises abortion, it also provides for safe zones around abortion clinics so that women and their families can access services unmolested.


Faced with this campaign, the Queensland government has provided an online FACT CHECKER to counter the misinformation (links are also posted below). The church’s claim is tackled head-on: a woman will not be able to choose to have a termination at any stage of pregnancy including at ‘full term’. Abortions after 22 weeks – which is very rare – will require the consent of two doctors.

Under the proposed Bill, a woman will be able to choose to have a termination up to 22 weeks. The service must be provided by a registered medical practitioner.

More than 22 weeks

However, if the woman is more than 22 weeks pregnant the proposed Bill only permits a termination if at least two doctors agree that the termination is appropriate in all the circumstances. In making their decision, the doctors must consider all relevant medical circumstances and the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances.

It is uncommon for a termination to be performed at this stage of pregnancy.

Here are the links to the rest of the facts provided by the Queensland government

Myths and facts about termination

There are many myths surrounding termination services and the effect termination has on women’s emotional and physical health. Get the answers here:

A woman will be able to choose to have a termination at any stage of pregnancy including at ‘full term’

There is more than one way to have a termination

Legalising termination services is expected to lead to more abortions

Women are always in control of whether they get pregnant or not

Termination will be available in any hospital

A woman must have counselling before a termination

Practitioners must provide a termination service

Legalising termination services will cost Queensland tax payers more money

Termination is linked to mental health problems

Having a termination impacts future fertility

Termination is dangerous to a woman’s health

It is to be hoped that the Archbishop will also draw parents attention to the government-provided information.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)