Have you written to the Upper House yet?

If not, your as bad as me, and we'd better get on to it before we forget or miss our chance!

As I'm sure you've heard, Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne’s amended Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill passed the lower house 13 votes to 11.

It's likely to be debated in the upper house sometime after June this year.

Now somehow I've stumbled across the Make a Stand website and it's going to really help me out. Have you heard of it?

It has an email feature that will help you write to your MP or representative in the Legislative Council.

I'm planning to use it to send a short email to upper house members indicating my views about the Late-term Abortion bill.

The site lists the following reasons why we should be opposed to this Bill and all write to Upper House representatives saying so, while we have the chance!

• Under the bill abortion at any time can be justified for socio-economic reasons.

• There is no legitimate mandate for such a move – first trimester abortions (which encompass 95% of abortions) are currently available and accessible in the state – there are no waiting lists or referrals, and there have been no prosecutions.

• Doctors will now not be fined but will still be compelled to refer a woman to an abortion provider, or face professional sanctions. It inserts a new power for police to demand that people they “reasonably believe are protesting” state their name and address, and if they don’t they may be arrested without warrant. People involved in protests, including silent, prayerful protests within 150 m of an abortion facility (eg on the steps of a nearby church) can be fined up to $32,500 and/or face one year in jail.

• Despite a very short consultation period, over 2000 submissions were received with 87% of respondents being opposed to abortion. Clearly these submissions have not been reviewed and hence the public are not adequately being listened to.

Also, helpfully, Make a Stand asks us to consider the following points and to put them in our own words as we speak up to our Legislative Council:

1. There needs to be some legal protection for unborn children against adults who may wish to take their lives.

2. The law should protect the unborn given their vulnerable state, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

3. Open slather abortion should not be legalised in Tasmania. The government should work to see a reduction in abortion, not contribute to its increase.

4. It's important that politicians are not misled by activists who want them to think abortion for any reason is popular and risk-free.

5. Mums (and dads) should be supported in pregnancy, not told that abortion is the option of first resort.

6. Forcing medical practitioners and counselors who conscientiously objection to abortion to refer is a breach of freedom of conscience.

Visit the Alive and Kicking page at Make a stand for more.

And in case you hadn't realised yet (like most of us), June is little more than 2 weeks away!