Kill the bill - Dr Joanna Howe

Kill the bill

Social media is our public square. It’s where we talk about what matters to us. For subjects like abortion in which powerful vested interests coalesce to stop us talking or accessing the data, social media has been a gamechanger: allowing us to unpack the issue of abortion without censorship from the media, the abortion lobby and the government. 

The Albanese Government wants to take that away through its new Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023. This Bill gives the government and tech companies the power to silence voices on social media under the auspices that they are deemed to be spreading “disinformation” or “misinformation”. 

If the Bill passes, censorship will become the norm on social media which will prevent people like me from being able to speak freely on the issue of abortion.

This is a huge concern because the mainstream media already supresses the voices of those who are against abortion. Take for example, this article by pro-abortion journalist Tory Shepherd mocking MP George Christensen for introducing a Bill to protect the human rights of babies born alive after a failed abortion. The headline of this one-sided article states, “He’s tabling a bill about a myth: calling bullshit on George Christenson’s abortion move”. This article and others in the mainstream media about the issue of babies born alive have not reported on the data. However, through social media, I have been able to draw attention to the facts about babies born alive after failed abortions to over three million Australians. These facts include:

  • 724 babies have been alive and left to die with no legal rights in Victoria and Queensland between 2010 and 2020
  • Babies who are born alive following a failed abortion have a median survival time of 32 minutes. However, an NT Coroner’s report reveals that Jessica Jane was left on a metal plate for 80 minutes in an empty room after her failed abortion before she died.
  • Every week a baby is born alive and left to die with no legal rights in Queensland and Victoria.

But it’s not just the media who silences the voices of Australians who are against abortion. The government is also complicit with its own Senate inquiry into reproductive healthcare burying the submissions of over 1500 Australians who submitted to this inquiry. These submissions were erased from the record and were not published on the inquiry website. Although the inquiry conducted four days of oral hearings, not a single Australian or organisation who was against abortion was invited to appear to give evidence to the inquiry.

With the mainstream media and the government refusing to allow alternative voices to speak on the issue of abortion, social media is our last refuge.

My goal is to spark a national conversation on abortion. We cannot do this without a right to free speech on social media. Please sign my petition to Kill the Bill as if this Bill passes we will lose social media as our public square.

2,516 signatures

Will you sign?

Please sign my petition to Kill the Bill as if this Bill passes we will lose social media as our public square.