‘In some instances … feticide is undertaken’

I wrote in November about the Liberal Bill before the parliament here in Adelaide which seeks to make lawful the killing of a foetus right up to the time, and immediately after, his or her birth. The upper house has already passed it. The lower house will vote on the February 3. Since I first wrote of the bill, an anonymous someone in the Attorney-General’s Department or Health Department has distributed to MPs a document explaining how the Bill the department has drafted will operate. This is question and answer #5 in that government publication:

Q: What happens in later term abortions?

A: In later term terminations, either an induction of labour or surgery will be used. If induction of labour is the chosen method of termination, the most usual outcome in this situation is that the baby will be stillborn. In this instance, palliative care is offered, the baby is wrapped in a blanket and the mother is given the opportunity to hold the baby as it dies. In some instances in late termination feticide is undertaken which means the baby will be stillborn.

Leave aside if you can the savagery and heartlessness involved in merely contemplating placing in the arms of the mother the wreckage of her infant, almost certainly at that point displaying the hideous wounds of the clumsy and bloody attempt to murder it. Leave aside, too, the idiocy of the unknown author in suggesting a stillborn child can subsequently die in the mother’s arms. This writing and the thinking that brought it forth surely betoken the presence of a diabolical, rather than merely human, enterprise.

The publication quoted above is not available online, or so it seems from my search-engine’s attempts to hunt up a copy. Am I right to suspect that some public “servant” in one or other of the departments has twigged that the unutterable depravity and cruelty of the scene conjured up by the penultimate sentence is unlikely to persuade a constituent to encourage their MP to vote ‘yes’?

I stand by all that I wrote in November. In fact, my language ought to have been more strident and unsparing. Every feeble argument made then and made now to justify this Bill collapses under the weight of its own mendacity. No woman in this state has ever been prosecuted under the existing abortion law, passed all of 51 years ago. No doctors who has authorised the killing of a foetus on the grounds authorised by the existing law has ever had their judgement challenged in the courts. If good faith “reform’’ of the law were the object of persons who (unlike me ) want to preserve the legality of abortion then they would be concerned to correct the striking anachronism of the statute’s present assumption that life is not viable outside the womb until 28 weeks gestation. We know now that it is viable at or after 23 weeks. Abortion, then, would not be permitted after 23 weeks, save where the mother’s life would otherwise be lost.

But passing a law reflecting our vastly improved knowledge of life in utero since 1969 is not the purpose of this vile Bill. Instead, a late-term foetus — a viable child, if we are honest — can be “terminated” up to and including the time of birth. Vickie Chapman, the Liberal attorney-general co-sponsoring the Bill with a Greens politician (and the support of her leader, Premier Steven Marshall), has abandoned earlier futile attempts to conceal this fact. Her department’s briefing paperto MPs reflects this abandonment. If this document has indeed  been made unavailable to the broader public, it is only because its language has been deemed by the department to be impolitic, not because it reflects the reality of abortion-up-to-birth as the department understands it.

What I did not tell you in my November article is that I know Ms. Chapman well, and that as recently as late in 2018 her boss, Premier Marshall, would sit in the pew in front of mine at Evensong at Christchurch North Adelaide. Every Sunday he would kneel for the prayers and lustily sing the hymns, give me an approving nod as I returned to my seat after giving the First Reading. (I was always assigned the Old Testament reading for some reason).

As a successful solicitor, Ms Chapman was a loyal briefer of me and other barristers in my chambers twenty years ago. Indeed she joined our chambers and was good company. She was kind to me. I was a drinking companion and a friend of her deceased husband, Tubby. Unlike the spinster premiers of Queensland and New South Wales, who enacted similar abortion-to birth laws in those states, she is a mother.

I invite you to read again the excerpt from the departmental FAQ document set out above. Its horror doesn’t abate on second reading. Maybe your revulsion has already been superseded by anger. It took me some time to accept, whatever psychological border-crossing my use of that word signifies, that the people I live among, who indeed serve those who govern me, consider that they can say such things without risk of punishment.

What has happened to us? And when? How? Whoever wrote those words, I can’t stop thinking, did so without even a tincture of shame or apprehension of the response they might elicit.

Whenever questions of this kind pierce my quotidian complacency these days, in my mind I hear the King James Bible verses that a young lady from that Christchurch choir would often read, with a hesitancy altogether absent from her glorious singing, to Premier Marshall and to me and the rest of the congregation when she gave the Second Reading , a verse like this one:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

You see, I can find no worldly explanation for this barbarity going on about me or, more particularly, for its startling acceleration in the space of a season or two.

I thought I knew the people I live among. I didn’t. Some of them must have always understood themselves as living in a vastly different moral dispensation than the one I thought we were living in. I don’t mean that I personally have sinned any less than they have; of course not. But I at least know and can acknowledge that I am living in a society that has repudiated its Christian roots and is now bereft of all the normative guidance and assurance those roots nourished. I know that the Almighty is against child-slaughter. I thought we all knew that. But we didn’t. We don’t.

Let me speak plainly. It has been clear, I reckon, to anyone living here in South Australia (or anywhere else in Australia) over the last decade or two, and especially to anyone involved in the law, that the public “service” and especially those parts of it charged with protecting children, educating children, drafting our laws or enforcing them, and administering public health laws in particular, are under the suzerainty of the feminist Left. These are people who network and support each other with an effectiveness of which Freemasons in their days of glory could only have dreamed. This is a topic deserving much longer discussion and I will only here example aspects of my own experience.

Education Department policy and procedure documents still implement the same Safe Schools doctrines that the government pretended to have abandoned shortly after it was elected. Child protection departments (under incessantly changing acronyms-FACS, DCW, CPS, et al )  are run by ideologically indoctrinated young women holding post-graduate diplomas in “social administration” or the like. These women are armed with the kind of powers that experienced police sergeants never, ever possessed, even when law enforcement was staffed by wise hands and informed by sound traditions.  They have the power to remove (and retain) putatively at-risk children from families whose legal remedies for the frequent arbitrary exercise of such powers are limited by the very Acts which gave those bureaucrats such prodigious powers in the first place. So it is in the other departments which devise and administer all of these laws. I believe that it was just such a public servant in just such a department who authored that pitiless heathen prose which I set out above.

I will tell you something else that I believe just as strongly. It is not only such people but also you and me – we who have let them go about their work unhindered for a generation or more — who share responsibility for these crimes against the defenceless unborn and newly born.

I implore you to get involved immediately in fighting this savagery. Certain types of women appropriated the right to speak publicly about abortion as long ago as the 1970’s, namely tertiary-educated feminists. The narrative that the mass media has run in the decades about abortion has subsequently always been expressed in that tortuous and disingenuous lexicon with which we are so familiar.

We must insist on a return to the fearless use of our own language. We must express ourselves in those words which allow the truth to be stated with clarity. You see, in speaking about abortion, I say we are dealing with extermination, not merely termination; motherhood, not merely pregnancy; crimes, not merely choices; lives, not merely politics, and that these are matters requiring all people of conscience, men and women alike, to speak boldly and clearly. We can only do that in our own natural language.

To men, I address what follows in particular: you can’t say you don’t know what this Bill proposes. Even if you live in a state where similar laws were passed in the last year or two, get involved in this instance. Let Premier Marshall and Attorney-General Chapman know what you think of their facilitation of barbarity in South Australia. Organise yourselves politically to make sure the right people to see these laws repealed in your own states. Righteous revulsion can be a formidable thing. In relation to abortion, with so many precious lives at stake, that must be brought to bear to frighten the politicians responsible.

If reading this has left you with the impression that I am profoundly unsettled by these matters and by what they have revealed about the hearts and minds of those who govern and manage our polity, you are right. But  surely it isn’t just me. Aren’t you, too, sickened by state-sanctioned infanticide?

Stuart Lindsay is a retired Federal Circuit Court Judge

24 thoughts on “‘In some instances … feticide is undertaken’

  • Lynchsjj says:

    Hi Stuart
    I hate to be pessimistic, but I think the cause is lost. Evil has found its expression in this sad procedure all over the world. Bidens election will again signal the ‘lawfulness’ of abortion to the free world, if I can call it that.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    I’m sickened by human-induced abortion at any stage. I reluctantly accept that it will continue to happen regardless of laws intended to prevent it, and that allowing it to occur under tightly-controlled circumstances is the least worst practical option.

    But to kill a viable baby, which is the name we give an embryo outside the uterus that is no longer dependent on the mother’s placenta, is simply outrageous and indefensible. People who can participate in such atrocities are morally indistinguishable from Dr Mengele and his willing accomplices.

  • gareththomassport says:

    There appears to be a high degree of cognitive dissonance on the left side of politics.
    Those strongly supporting late term abortions on demand often also strongly support killing of those suffering from a variety of ailments (euthenasia) on demand, both forms of state sponsored killing, but vigorously argue against state sponsored killing of the most violent criminals (capital punishment).
    They also support destroying an economy and wreaking widespread damage on the physical and mental health of a large number of citizens to prevent deaths of those in the last days/weeks/ months of life.

  • Alistair says:

    Child abuse and domestic violence are of course the great victim crazes of the moment, but 90,000 babies aborted every year is not considered abusive enough, domestic enough, nor violent enough. Go figure.

  • Simon says:

    You really do have to wonder how human mother could possibly contemplate doing such a thing, let alone it being condoned by officialdom. And state premiers.

    This world really is beyond the pale now. And just when you think it simply couldn’t get any worse, up pop the Steve Marshalls.

    The only thing he’s got in his favour is that Adern of NZ and various other sub-humans around the world have beaten him to it.

  • Trevor Bailey says:

    “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Who shall comfort us, the murderers of all murderers?” (F.W. Nietszche, ‘The Gay Science’, 1882)
    After 140 years, that rhetorical question is no less searing, yet look at where we are. And to where we’re headed. May God (who is quite undead) forgive them.

  • lbloveday says:

    “The publication quoted above is not available online, or so it seems from my search-engine’s attempts to hunt up a copy”.

  • lbloveday says:

    Alistair wrote:
    Child abuse and domestic violence are of course the great victim crazes of the moment, but 90,000 babies aborted every year is not considered abusive enough, domestic enough, nor violent enough.
    About the longest of the 20 “questions and answers” is on, what else but:
    What is the link between domestic violence and termination of pregnancy?

  • Salome says:

    When I was at law school, the Victorian Crimes Act included the crime of child destruction, which was termination of a pregnancy in the third trimester. It’s been quite a few years since that was abolished. And I don’t think you can practise medicine these days without at least being prepared to write a referral to someone who does it. (That’s the worst bit–making it compulsory.)

  • lbloveday says:

    From my GP’s (I forwarded this article to him) web-site:
    “Due to personal beliefs xx does not refer for abortions…..”
    Guess he’s skating on thin ground

  • Counsel says:

    I shuddered when I read Stuart Lindsay’s article. Such laws (and the attitudes underpinning them) are born of ignorance and indolence. Ignorance of the population and indolence of the rest of us.

    There is, of course, an unfortunate general effort to quieten dissenting voices. I have a subscription to The Australian and sometimes (as here) post comments under articles that interest me. The only comments that have ever been rejected were the two (the only two) which I forwarded which related to abortion. The first was in respect of the recent relaxation of abortion laws in Argentina where I wrote (self-evidently tongue-in-cheek) that:
    “The great thing about abortion is that it is a win-win situation – a mother disposes of an
    inconvenience and the child is spared a parent who preferred the child dead.”
    The second rejected comment – utterly harmless and totally accurate – was in response to a recent report about the large number of deaths, in years gone by, of infants in homes for unwed mothers in Ireland where I observed:-
    “It is a terrible story. It is perhaps fortunate that at the time there was no ready access to abortion or
    the death rate might have been closer to 100%.”

    No other of my many comments to The Australian on any topic has ever been censored in any way.

    Stuart Lindsay is right – the intellectual and public spaces on this issue are occupied solely by those in favour of a particular form of human savagery. One suspects that most people would reject the horror of abortion – or at least late-term abortion – if they truly understood what it meant. That they are kept in the dark is our fault..

  • lbloveday says:

    About 25% of my comments to The Australian are rejected. With the most egregious rejections I email Jason Gagliardi and most of the time he reinstates.
    I’ve stopped writing Letters to the Editor, as none get published – 10-20 years ago barely a week would go by without a letter in The Australian, the Daily Telegraph or The Advertiser; the DT once published 9 letters in a row.
    It is, I believe, a product of Rupert’s daughters-in law from hell influence rather than a deterioration in my ability to articulate an argument.

  • en passant says:

    I think I was in the majority for many years as I neither knew nor thought much about any abortion.
    My position was:
    1. There are good reasons for some abortions (still true, but the devil is in the detail)
    2. Wherever possible arranging pre-birth adoptions is a preferable alternative
    3. A woman who insists on an abortion should be sterilized (that should take care of some who want their child killed because it is the ‘wrong’ sex)

    Eventually, enough debate caught my attention so I did some research – and caused me to update my position.
    All three above remain valid, except I would add two riders:
    1. a charge of Murder to be added to the 3rd category for all concerned – including the polliescum who pass these ‘legal’ travesties; and
    2. There should be no time limit on post-live birth terminations. That way we can clean out a whole parcel of adults who should have been aborted at birth up to 50-years ago …

    I won’t post any abortion links for you, but they are not hard to find. It is essential that you watch at least two. Therapy may be required afterwards …
    I have probably watched a dozen such murders of innocent foetuses and some of live babies. That’s more than enough, but necessary so you fully understand what is involved – and what is being so casually discussed.
    I assure you that there is something inhuman about watching the ‘clinical detachment’ of those involved in the killing of a live baby as it is taking place (in full colour and with a soundtrack of a crying baby that grates your soul). Perhaps Marshall & Chapman could assure us they have have attended an abortion themselves to ensure this method of execution is fair and world’s best practice? Posting videos of their attending a live abortion would be appreciated, but will they smile for the camera? Only joking, as it is the separation between the gory reality and the academic nuances of memos, meetings (of the like-minded) and drafting a legal Bill that protects them from their consciences (do pollies have a ‘conscience’? Must Google that).
    In 1946 there were two war crimes prosecutions in Germany that interested me: the first was of the supply clerk who provided the Zyklon-B for Auschwitz. What should have been his downfall was his asking how many people it was for … A dead giveaway..
    The second was the trial of the clerk who ordered people from concentration camps for ‘experimental’ purposes. They were requested to fit certain physical characteristics. He even threw in some extras … Both were acquitted as they were just part of the ‘killing machine’ …
    Marshall & Chapman are in the clear as the precedent has clearly been set …”

  • leabrae says:

    “Organise yourselves politically. . . .” And then? Compare the experience of the Member for Waite, Sam Duluk. For him the Premier has brought out the political manual of Valentyn Beria: “Give me the man and I’ll show you the crime”. South Australia is a nascent totalitarian state: increasingly, questioning is prohibited.

    At least two and a half thousand years have passed since the Israelites banned child sacrifice. The Akeda has caused much ink to flow. It has gone. Life itself is without meaning for government today—and the great majority of citizens (to the extent that word has any continuing significance) appear to agree.

  • Francois Stallbom says:

    Doubting Thomas said:
    People who can participate in such atrocities are morally indistinguishable from Dr Mengele and his willing accomplices.
    en passant said:
    In 1946 there were two war crimes prosecutions in Germany that interested me: the first was of the supply clerk who provided the Zyklon-B for Auschwitz. What should have been his downfall was his asking how many people it was for … A dead giveaway..
    The second was the trial of the clerk who ordered people from concentration camps for ‘experimental’ purposes. They were requested to fit certain physical characteristics. He even threw in some extras … Both were acquitted as they were just part of the ‘killing machine’ …
    Marshall & Chapman are in the clear as the precedent has clearly been set …”
    All myths and lies. The real Mengele’s are the cultural Marxists of today. Marxism is satanism.


    I respect and find Quadrant contributors and your comments really insightful and inspiring in these dark times of marxism (and cultural marxism), but I am always sad and disheartened by the ongoing myth of German villainy:
    As the title The Myth of German Villainy indicates, this book is about the mis-characterisation of Germany as history’s ultimate “villain.”

    The “official” story of Western Civilization in the twentieth century casts Germany as the disturber of the peace in Europe, and the cause of both World War I and World War II, though the facts don’t bear that out. During both wars, fantastic atrocity stories were invented by Allied propaganda to create hatred of the German people for the purpose of bringing public opinion around to support the wars. The “Holocaust” propaganda which emerged after World War II further solidified this image of Germany as history’s ultimate villain. But how true is this “official” story? Was Germany really history’s ultimate villain? In this book, the author paints a different picture. He explains that Germany was not the perpetrator of World War I nor World War II, but instead, was the victim of Allied aggression in both wars.

    The instability wrought by World War I made the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia possible, which brought world Communism into existence. Hitler and Germany recognized world Communism, with its base in the Soviet Union, as an existential threat to Western, Christian Civilization, and he dedicated himself and Germany to a death struggle against it. Far from being the disturber of European peace, Germany served as a bulwark which prevented Communist revolution from sweeping over Europe. The pity was that the United States and Britain did not see Communist Russia in the same light, ultimately with disastrous consequences for Western Civilization.

    The author believes that Britain and the United States joined the wrong side in the war.

  • Stephen says:

    This is truly terrible. I didn’t know this was happening. I am not against abortion and I elaborated on this in a comment I submitted relating to an earlier Quadrant article on the subject. But abortion in the last 3 months, when a healthy child is viable should only be contemplated when the mothers life is at risk. The thought that legal abortion could include the killing of a healthy child at birth is is shocking. Are we living in a civilised society? This is surely murder.

    There are many couples who struggle to have children and have experienced years of fruitless and expensive IVF treatment. My understanding is that there is a shortage if babys available for adoption in Australia. Unwanted new borns should be adopted by qualified couples. A good friend of mine (he’s in his early thirties now) was adopted as a baby from Vietnam by a childless Australian couple. He is one of the kindest, most moral people I know and the world would be a poorer place without him.

  • call it out says:

    I am filled with despair. I have seen the militant tertiary educated feminists in action up close. Many are heartless , and ideologically ruthless. That they have captured the minds of Liberal leaders is a mark of disgrace on them all.
    Perhaps this can only be salvaged by strong women of faith and morals.

  • Lewis P Buckingham says:

    ‘en passant – 23rd January 2021’
    Agreed. Our own daughter was resuscitated at birth.
    Nowadays she would not have had a chance, given the new laws.
    So, she is disabled.
    In my own world, when I abort a client’s animal, with full legal and owner permission, it is open to the nursing staff to ‘have a little look’.
    Of course the subject of the abortion is under full general anaesthetic, something that may not be so clear in the human situation.
    Once having seen the puppy or kitten is quite formed and viable, they form a more nuanced view of the human practices in abortion.
    Usually they simply reject it.

  • a.c.ryan says:

    I challenge you to provide evidence that a healthy foetus would be terminated in this way. And for your information, late term abortions have been carried out whenever there has been a danger to the life of the mother or if the foetus would not be viable at birth. Let me assure you that these terminations are not for social reasons, or elective in most cases. This would not obviously have been advertised or commented on in the past, by obtrusive strangers in particular, but social media interference has probably now been the cause of the necessity to formalise and legalise a procedure that may have had to occur as a matter of devastating necessity – in private. Adding to this, I am shocked by Quadrant’s past apparent enthusiasm for euthanasia. Depressed people, and I suspect many Quadrant wannabes, are happy to see the legalisation of assisted suicide, yet will happily publicise gruesome and improbable elements of a procedure that might not even occur in the way that they hope might support their argument. There are wicked questions and also wicked decisions that may have to be made here. Unless those who are happy to publish what amounts to prurient gossip are directly involved surgically at either one end or the other in a real life case, they should keep out of it, and simply offer informed support if needed, however unlikely that may be in this instance.

  • Alistair says:


    From the Queensland Parliament – Question on Notice No. 779
    Asked on 11 May 2016
    DR [MARK] ROBINSON asked the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services (HON CR DICK) :
    How many babies aged 20 weeks or more were born alive after a termination procedure in Queensland hospitals each year between 2005 and 2015 (presented annually), and will the Minister confirm whether these viable babies are provided pain relief or any other form of palliative care?
    ANSWER: …
    There are almost always severe circumstances leading to a small number of women who choose to terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation… Termination with livebirth outcome : …

    Then follows a table detailing 204 live-birth babies in Queensland over the decade.

    Thats just Queensland.
    The Australian ran this piece from Miranda Devine in 2013 …

    “And the fact is that babies do survive late-term abortion, even in Australia, although few hit the headlines. There was the case of baby Jessica Jane, aborted at 22 weeks in Darwin Private Hospital in 1998, but who was born alive, weighing 515 grams, and with ‘good vital signs’. She lived for 80 minutes, alone in a kidney dish, though a sympathetic nurse wrapped a warm blanket around her as she died.”

    It happens and just because you dont want to advertise the fact doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

    I would ask – If the reason for the “termination” is the health of the mother, then surely that has already been adequately dealt with by the time the child has been born and has proven itself to be viable. Why is it then necessary to continue and kill the child? Certainly no longer for the benefit of the health of the mother! Seems like pure vindictiveness to me.

  • Lynchsjj says:

    I tried to post the following comment in the Australian today about Daniel Andrews saying Margaret Courts awarding of a gong will ‘cost lives’.
    ‘To speak plainly do you really know who costs lives and that is Mr Andrews with his abortion policies. What a hypocrite’
    It was rejected. Was my comment untrue? I think it just shows the current state of play in peoples minds today.

  • lbloveday says:

    Two days after Joe Biden became U.S. President, the White House announced that the Biden Administration would codify Roe v Wade, which would allow for legal abortions even in the event that the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 ruling.


  • Lawrie Ayres says:

    It has been written about recently that Aboriginal women often killed a newborn. When asked why the answer was along the lines of “I can only carry one infant at a time” pointing to a toddler already on her back. That I understand because it seems Aboriginal men did not share domestic chores so the woman was left to carry the children as they wandered from food source to food source. (Obviously this woman was not living in a large settlement surrounded by animal pens).

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