Thank you to all members who completed our recent survey on the impact of the new abortion laws in practice.
Queensland Parliament is in the process of decriminalising abortion on the one hand but allowing third trimester terminations on the other.
NPAQ does not have views on, or use your membership resources to take sides on social issues unlike the QNMU who had their own rally in support of this legislation. Most QNMU members are simply not aware that their membership money was used for this purpose. The NPAQ however were and still are very concerned about how the consequences of this legislation will play out for nurses and midwives who will have to assist with these procedures.
NPAA Executive Director Graeme Haycroft shared his concerns in “Abortion Law Reform: Potential impact on Nurses and Midwives setting out the potential problems. At the same time we surveyed all members on this issue. Over 10% responded, which is a reliable sample size. We thank you for that because it has informed what we propose to do.
The survey asked three questions. In summary just on 50% of those surveyed were opposed to the legislation. 35% were in favour. Most reassuringly 85% are very concerned about the potential discrimination issues, against both pro-life and pro-choice nurses and midwives, and want NPAQ’s support in any potential discrimination issues that arise. Don't worry we won't let any of you down.
Interestingly about 60% didn't want the legislation delayed even though half didn't agree with it and most of those who responded want us to make sure that nurses will not be disadvantaged by the new laws. It seems contradictory but we conclude from the results you want us to focus on nurse and midwife issues. We get the message - This is our job.
The discrimination issues you are concerned about are not likely to become apparent until Queensland Health announces that it will commence pregnancy terminations.
NPAQ won't be waiting for that announcement, we will start work now and get nurse and midwife concerns on the record. We welcome your feedback and suggestions about how we might go about this.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of comments made by members on the survey.
- “I am concerned as a prolife nurse of possible discrimination.”
- “I am pro life. But have many colleagues that work in this industry part time. My respect and relationships towards them have not changed. I respect them as people regardless of their work choices. If only we could all be like this.”
- “Pro- Life or not the choice should be up to the nurse and not up to the manager and should have no bearing on whether or not to hire someone.”
- “Conscientious objections need to be taken into account and respected on any subject. Legitimize conscientious objections. Thanks for NOT spending resources without consulting members. That is the main reason I left QNMU.”