Abortion Law ‘Reform’: Twenty Questions that Deserve Answers

first_imgABC.net 12 May 2016Family First Comment: Rachael Wong nails it – yet again! Proponents of abortion on demand will struggle with these test questions.Independent MP Rob Pyne has introduced a private member’s bill to amend Queensland’s abortion laws, which may allow women to undergo abortions through all nine months of pregnancy – up until birth.Pyne, who called the current law “archaic,” has said that his bill does not give a time limit for abortion and that he would “compromise” with MPs as to when the “cut-off” should be.This leaves open the possibility of an extreme abortion law, like in Victoria, Tasmania and ACT, all of which allow abortion up until birth.But if the prospect of abortion up until birth isn’t enough to make us reject Pyne’s bill outright, there are still several questions we ought to be asking before we all jump on the bandwagon of “choice” and “progress”:1. How progressive are we really when we are willing to “compromise” the “cut-off” point for a human life?2. At what point do we draw the line when a child’s heart starts to beat at 5 weeks, it can feel pain by 20 weeks, and a week later can survive outside the womb?3. How can we reconcile the lengths to which we will go to save a child born prematurely (cost, use of advanced medical technology and so on), with a law that could allow that same child to be aborted?4. Are states like Victoria really the best model for abortion law reform? (There is currently a political push to introduce gestational limits in Victoria due to the excesses of its extreme abortion law.)Pyne’s bill would remove abortion from the criminal code, but leave in place section 313, which makes it a crime to cause the death of an unborn child in cases such as where a pregnant woman is assaulted.5. Why the distinction between a child whose death is caused by someone assaulting its mother and one whose death is caused by abortion?6. Does using a surgical or chemical process to cause death, rather than physical assault, really change what is happening to the child?7. Why do we call it a tragedy when an unborn child dies from an assault or accident (including an accidental abortion), but not when it dies from an abortion?8. Are these distinctions made because one child is wanted and the other is not? Is this really the best basis on which to create public policy?9. Do the provisions criminalising abortion perhaps serve the same protective purpose for the child as section 313?Pyne has said that the push for his bill was the case of a 12 year old girl from Queensland last month who needed permission from the Supreme Court to undergo an abortion.10. Why the outcry over a 12 year old’s inability to obtain an abortion, and barely a mention of why a 12 year old needed an abortion in the first place?11. Are we not concerned about why and by whom 12 year olds – and apparently hundreds more 13 and 14 year olds – are getting pregnant?12. Is abortion really going to solve these issues?13. Or might it, at best, leave them unaddressed, or at worst, act as a shield for perpetrators of statutory rape?14. Why do we persist in addressing symptoms instead of root causes to difficult or unplanned pregnancies?15. Why are we not more concerned about our young girls being sexually active and exposing themselves to much worse than pregnancy (sexually transmitted infections, exploitation and so on)?Deputy Premier of Queensland and Labor MP Jackie Trad, who is “unashamedly pro-choice,” has publicly supported Pyne’s bill stating that abortion is “a health issue, not a criminal issue” and that “what a woman decides to do with her body, in consultation with her doctor, does not belong in the criminal code.”16. If we are truly concerned about women’s health, why the hush when it comes to the physical and psychological risks of abortion?17. How does abortion promote women’s health? What about the health of unborn women?18. Are there not two human beings involved in every abortion? Does the current law not reflect this important reality?19. Why do we perform highly advanced life-saving (and other) surgery on children in utero if a pregnancy only involves a woman and her doctor?20. Is more abortion really the best we can offer women facing a difficult or unplanned pregnancy?These are just some of the questions, among many, that need to be considered before forging ahead with a law that is supposedly about “women’s health” and “choice” and “progress.”All this is not to say that women should be thrown in jail for undergoing abortions. Certainly not. There is no benefit in prosecuting women who are already vulnerable and suffering.But I suspect that removing women’s criminal liability isn’t the real issue. Pyne’s bill is about abortion on demand, for any reason, or for no reason.http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2016/05/12/4460682.htmKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Money Laundering: A Foe of the Financial System

first_imgDr. Buno Nduka, director of programs and projects of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering, has described the act and terrorist financing as activities that undermine the stability and integrity of the financial system in West Africa.Dr. Nduka made the statement Tuesday, April 08, at a one-day financial sector executive officers dialogue meeting held in Monrovia.According to him, the dialogue was intended to provide a standards framework to act against criminals by clarifying and strengthening existing obligations and tackle the threat posed by ‘money laundering and terrorist financing’ in the sub region.He said, “As part of the global efforts to ensure that the financial system is not misused for the purpose of laundering proceeds of crimes; the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in February 2012, revised its standards to provide a stronger framework against criminals.”The GIABA programs, according to Director Nduka, are providing new ways to combat threats to the international financial system and have competent authorities with knowledge and experience to counter the evolving dangers posed by money laundering and terrorist financing.He explained that FATF recommendations two and 40 call for national cooperation and coordination as well as international cooperation amongst competent authorities. These authorities include regulatory institutions that ensure money laundering rings and terrorist financiers are effectively combated and shut down.He said that recommendations one and from 19 to 21 of GIABA documents specifically focus on money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment, customer identification, record keeping and reporting suspicious transactions on financial institutions.“Money laundering and terrorist financing have adverse consequences on the financial system. They undermine the stability and integrity of the system and expose the system to reputational damage and legal risk. This reduces the contribution of the sector to economic development, while all the countries integrated into the international financial system become exposed to the risks of these crimes,” said Dr. Nduka.He moved on to recommendation 26, which requires regulatory authorities to undertake supervision of financial institutions under their purview for Anti-money Laundering (AML) CFT and the financial sector, which is central to the implementation of the AML/CFT standard in any country.He disclosed that the outcomes of GIABA’s first round of mutual evaluation of member states (MS) reveal a generally low performance by the financial sector. This is owed to several factors, including insufficient commitment on the part of the management of financial institutions in implementing AML/CFT standards.“The compliance status of the sector in relation to the implementation of AML/CFT standards has serious consequences on the integrity and stability of the sector, its role in economic development, and ultimately, the achievement of ECOWAS’ overall objectives,” he maintained.For his part, the Director for Regulation and Supervision of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Musa Kamara, on behalf of Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Deputy Governor for Administration, Charles E. Sirleaf, told GIABA members that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is fully committed to strengthening the AML/CFT of the country.Money LaunderingMoney Laundering is the process where the proceeds of crime are transformed into ostensibly legitimate money or other assets.However, in a number of legal and regulatory systems, the term money laundering has become mixed with other forms of financial crimes, and sometimes used more generally to include misuse of the financial system, including terrorist financing, tax evasion, and evading of international sanctions.  It is said that the term ‘money laundering’ was coined from the practice of the American mafia who, at one time, channelled the cash proceeds of their crimes through launderettes to legitimize the cash. Whether this is true or not, the term ‘money laundering’ is now widely used.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more