“Today is a very dark day for New South Wales,” said Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Thursday in reference to the passage of a new law legalizing abortion in the Australian state, whose capital is Sydney.
Calling the new law “a defeat for humanity,” Archbishop Fisher said in a statement that Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 “may be the worst law passed in New South Wales in modern times, because it represents such a dramatic abdication of responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Fisher said the abortion law is the first case of legalized killing in the state since “the abolition of capital punishment in New South Wales in 1955.”
The new law, passed Wednesday by a vote of 26-14 in the state’s upper house, permits abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks of pregnancy and after 22 weeks, if two obstetricians agree.
Prior to Wednesday’s vote, abortion had been legal in NSW only if a doctor deemed that a woman’s physical or mental health was in danger.
Archbishop Fisher noted that the Act had undergone several amendments prior to its passage, but they “do not make women or their unborn babies any safer, nor protect the conscience rights of medical professionals, nor provide distressed pregnant women with any support or alternatives to abortion.”
Fisher also thanked lawmakers who fought against the law as well as the “tens of thousands of people who attended rallies, maintained a vigil outside Parliament House even in heavy rain, contacted their local members, made submissions to the committee inquiry, or prayed that this law might not pass.”
“Even though abortion on demand right up to birth has now been formally legalised in this state, our commitment to life continues,” the archbishop said.
Church agencies and pro-life organizations will still offer care for pregnant women, new mothers, and their babies, he said, and churches along with women and men of goodwill “will continue to work together to turn our culture around, so that every vulnerable woman and baby is supported and abortion becomes unthinkable.”
“We can still put an end to the scourge of abortion in this state by making it unnecessary, no matter what the law says,” Fisher declared.