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Shine hits back over anti-abortion group's ad campaign

LAUNCH: Kerry Shine launches his Toowoomba North campaign ahead of the Queensland election.
LAUNCH: Kerry Shine launches his Toowoomba North campaign ahead of the Queensland election. Tom Gillespie

AN ANTI-ABORTION lobby group has targeted Labor candidates in more than 20 electorates, including Toowoomba North, over plans for "extreme new abortion laws" if the party wins government on November 25.

The group, Voters for Life, is backed by Australian conservative Christian lobby group the National Civic Council.

Labor candidate for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine was among the list of candidates in electorates targeted by a Voters for Life advertising campaign last week.

The ads urge voters to number every box and put Labor last, claiming the party supports "abortion up to birth for any reason" and that Labor planned to implement "extreme new abortion laws" if it wins the state election.

Mr Shine, a practising Catholic who has long been personally opposed to the decriminalisation of abortion, questioned why the group was targeting Toowoomba North.

"I've certainly had feedback from people who've received information accusing me as a Labor candidate of being in favour of the killing of babies and such rot," he said.

"I just doubt their sincerity and their motives. If they are truly against abortion, they should not oppose members who are also against it."

While Mr Shine was unsure of what the motivation was behind the ads, he speculated "it's not aimed to help me but aimed to help somebody else".

The digital and print deal.
The digital and print deal.

The Labor party in February committed to "modernising abortion laws" in the next term of parliament, after it referred current legislation to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for advice.

The QLRC received its terms of reference from the Palaszczuk Government in June, and is due to report back by June 2018.

Voters for Life spokesperson Luke McCormack said the group hadn't had "one Labor candidate say in writing they would cross the floor and end their career in the Labor party to vote against (Annastacia) Palaszczuk and (Jackie) Trad's promise to decriminalise abortion in Queensland.

"The only way you can trust a Labor candidate to definitely vote the other way is in writing, and we have not received that from Kerry Shine," he said.

But under a Federal decision by the Labor Party, Queensland Labor Party members are allowed to vote with their conscience on the issue.

Mr Shine said he would be happy for the current laws on abortion to remain.

He said current laws "allow women in very distressed and often traumatic circumstances to undertake an abortion without fear of criminal prosecution."

Topics:  abortion national civic council politics qldelection2017 toowoomba toowoomba list


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