Pro-choice protests delay vote on Jayden’s Law

Pro-choice protesters on the steps of SA parliament house, May 15. Photo: John McGill

Thirty people attended a May 15 rally on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament House to protest the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill, also known as Jayden’s Law, introduced by Family First MP Robert Brokenshire, which was to be voted upon the next day.

However, in the face of community concerns regarding the intentions and wording of the amendment and a campaign organised by the South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC), Brokenshire has delayed the vote for several weeks.

The SAFC supports and respects grieving women who have lost a wanted pregnancy and affirms their support for a bill brought by a pro-choice party that allows those women the right to follow the rituals and procedures they feel are needed in order to grieve.

However, the SAFC remains firm that the rights of all women must be considered and does not support any bill that might infringe on the right of women to an abortion.

The SAFC’s concerns regarding the amendment are supported by the Law Society, whose advice states that the society "has some reservations as to the intent of the Amendment Bill due to the application of the proposed definition changes to ‘still-born’ children”. Further, the Law Society said “if the intention of the Amendment Bill is to alter the definition of a ‘still-birth’ to lower the gestation limit to 12 weeks, there will be further ramifications which must be recognised”.

The SAFC will continue to campaign for a woman’s right to choose and against the amendment in its current form.

[Lisa Lines is a member of the South Australian Feminist Collective. Email for more details.]


im confused!! so this mother fighting for this has to now change all her hard work because of your 'fears' and now also her people presenting her and also compromise on what they want and will get??? OMG you people are awful!! how are your rights coming along for you......anyone allowed to dicate to you......?? sorry but im shocked at this blatant disregard for the rights of these women, you could have at least had some compassion in going about this!!

ummm Jaydens Law vote was cancelled friday(before the protest) and then announced monday(before the protest) since your protest was tuesday i would say your protest had nothing to do with delaying the vote!! I also have that letter from the law society.....amazing how if you copy and paste in the right spots you can back up anything!! bad form guys!! very bad form! They also encouraged that should this amendment continue to be pushed forward by parliament the wording be altered to include the term 'non-viable stillborn child' with the heading 'optional registration of birth of non- viable stillborn children' and advised to define the particular circumstance under its own definition instead of being classed as the current stillborn definition.......didnt put that in your article did you???

Do the rights of a grieving mother trump the reproductive rights of all women? You clearly think so. Before you say "but this law won't affect abortion", this law will effectively only require one small future ammendment to deny a greater number of women their reproductive freedom in the future. Despite your concern about the possibility of having to accept a compromise, this is all part of living in a democracy. If the parliament has deferred the vote, its not due to some protest I can assure you. They realise it's just bad law and they know it needs to be ammended.

Dont put words in my not the ones protesting against or petitioning against others rights! If this is all about amending making an amendment then why not seek to do this with some compassion instead of acting like you dont care about the pain these families are feeling!! pretty cold really!

My concerns about these families having to compromise comes down to the fact they should have a choice and you clearly seek to limit this choice! They should not be FORCED to compromise on anything......coming to a compromise would have been much nicer and made your group look a hell of a lot nicer than you currently do!

"If the parliament has deferred the vote, its not due to some protest I can assure you. They realise it's just bad law and they know it needs to be ammended."

the title above clearly states a win for SAFC.....which is obviously untrue! The law does need to be amended...agreed...but not how you have gone about it and you taking a bow for something you fought dirtily to obtain and didnt achieve is foul and a awful blow to these families! you should all be ashamed of yourselves!

Couldnt have said it better myself. This group has played dirty, using what is a good, pure campaign to highlight their own wishes for the decriminalisation of abortion, a completely separate issue, with little or no cincern for affected families is WRONG. Had this group behaved in a more appropriate manner, discussing their concerns with the Jaydens Law people instead of dragging the name of Jayden Bartsch, an innocent, deceased baby through the mud, this ridiculous fight would not be happening. But hey, guess the group got what they wanted then, attention and publicity.

Has anyone considered that it might be the paternalistic and sterile processes inherent in the biomedical treatment of women who miscarry that might need our collective attention? Why can't hospitals or nurses or someone within that system allow for some kind of ceremonial acknowledgement that a birth has taken place that doesn't legally infringed on all women's reproductive choices? Going to the Family First party was this young woman's only mistake. Surely there are other ways in which she can be supported?

I agree! the hospital treatment is a big key to these women healing emotionally as is counselling! alot of mothers have mentioned this treatment impacting in a unhealthy way upon their grief, most have also mentioned though that all the counselling in the world would help the fact their precious baby has been ignored as having existed.......even if it was only important to them! i do still feel this need to be validated, the birth, name and existence of someone they feel meant something, burials etc but also better treatment and counselling! the whole aspect of pregnancy loss needs an overhaul so each individual circumstance is catered for(some parents may not be able to cope with organising a funeral etc....they should be catered to should they feel their best option is the hospital disposing of the baby for them, as should someone who wants a funeral......they should have all choices given to them to best decide what is best for them) same with a birth should come down the each individual families choice! it really isnt rocket science!

I'd just like to say that the SAFC talked to Tammy Franks about this issue, and it was because of the SAFC other women's groups and the Greens that the law society information was requested and gave their advice. We have expressed our compassion for these women time and time again, although we could not express enough that we support the sentiment but not as the legislation stood before the vote was deffered.

The legislation as it stood before had complicated flaws and you know the language as the legislation stood before could impose on abortion legislation. If Robert Brokenshire wasn't trying to push through legislation that impacted abortion legislation, why did he express that he had a problem with the law society advice with it? if it wasn't about abortion he wouldn't have minded that the advice from the law society was in his words 'left wing'. We knew it was shoddy legislation way before the law society gave advice towards it and we raised these concerns with the greens. No pro-choice MPs were contacted by Brokenshire before he tried to get the prior flawed legislation through, this is also very suspicious. It is community groups and the women's sectors that showed concern for the legislation that led to this vote being delayed. It was not the single protest, moreso our ongoing protest and our show of concern to the greens that led it to be delayed. We have stated time and time again that we would support a legislation coming from a pro-choice party that values grieving rituals for mothers.Whether you like it or not, the legislation as it stood before we expressed our problems with it would have infringed on abortion law because of the way the langage was stated. Your group constantly states that we are trying to reduce choice which is frankly ridiculous as our position is much more open to real choice (including the choice for abortion) as we have said we would support a bill that recognises grieving rituals coming from a pro choice MP.

"your group" - Interesting. Please be aware that 'these women' ie bereaved mothers, are not against abortion. This should not be a matter of 'us and them'. We are all women, and all women's rights should be supported.
You stated in your post that you had expressed compassion for 'these women' again and again. However, posting flyers with incorrect information and 'STOP JAYDENS LAW' certainly doesnt seem compassionate. Using Mrs Bartches deceased little boys name in your campaign for abortion rights is certainly NOT showing compassion.
I am unsure of what sort of grieving rituals you would support. I did have a funeral director pick up my little girl from the hospital. We had a memorial service and had her tiny body cremated and I have her ashes here at home with me. This is a grieving ritual. But, there is no official record that my little girl ever existed. No record that her siblings ever had a baby sister. There is no record that I ever gave birth to my little girl. This is what is important to 'these women'.

wow! clearly you think the reproductive rights of women trump the rights of grieving mothers instead of being EQUAL like this group claims to fight for 'Equality'??? this shouldnt be a matter of your rights vs theirs.......we are all women! At the end of the day these mothers gave permission to these babies to grow in their bodies, with that should come rights also! you are the one making it 'clear' whose rights should be trumped! Taking a compromise is one thing, being made to feel your rights are unimportant and having discrimination encouraged towards you whilst also being made to feel you have no rights to feel how you want to feel for your unborn child is unacceptable.

'Your group constantly states that we are trying to reduce choice which is frankly ridiculous as our position is much more open to real choice (including the choice for abortion) as we have said we would support a bill that recognises grieving rituals coming from a pro choice MP."

can i just point out this statement indicates reducing choice......'it has to come from a pro-choice MP'.......umm reducing choice, 'support a bill that recognises grieving rituals'...........what about the validation of their much loved babies dont support that?? if you dont well then you do indeed seek to reduce choice!

you can state time and time again your compassion towards these women.......your actions speak louder than these words though! This is censorship of pregnant women and grieving mothers.........

these women are told 'what their baby is'
'what to call their baby'
'how to feel for their baby'
'how they should feel when they miscarry'
they are treated with disrespect in the hospitals and made to feel alone and unsupported in their loss.

this is not on...........these women have rights too but clearly by seeking to reduce choices you encourage this mentality to be pushed on them.
everything needs to have a cutoff......gving birth should be the cutoff in this circumstance.

these women want-

-government validation their baby existed and was BORN
-they want grieving ritual rights to be given to them
(some mothers also mention a great importance for this name to appear on other childrens birth certificates.......this need to be looked at closely)
-they want better treatment in hospital
-they want the topic of miscarriage to be less taboo.

they do not want a piece of paper they could print themselves at home.....they would find this insulting.
I dont think this is too much to ask!!

they want this along side of your rights.....not instead of! If you cant support these women wanting these do seek to reduce their rights!

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