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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3812..


MR BERRY (Ginninderra) (5.47): Mr Assistant Speaker, I will not be supporting this amendment because it suggests that there is something wrong with abortion. That has been the problem with the religious right since this argument started. They believe that this is wrong, that women are doing the wrong thing when they have an abortion. It is not a problem for a lot of women. It is a solution. Get that into your thick heads. It is a solution for women who need to terminate a pregnancy.

This is the very problem that we deal with when we talk about abortion law reform. What you people want to do is go outside this place and wag your fingers at women who have had an abortion. That is what you want to do. You want to tell them that they have done something wrong. This is where you miss the point completely. Abortion, for a lot of women, is the solution, not a problem.

Mrs Burke: I raise a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker. I object to Mr Berry wagging his finger. Would you direct him to direct his comments through you? He is making this a personal statement.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR BERRY: I am trying to replicate what you do. Metaphorically, you are out there waving your fingers at women who are considering abortion and saying, "If you consider this, you are doing the wrong thing."Well, they are not doing the wrong thing. They are finding a solution for themselves. What right have you got to determine what a woman does with her reproductive system? That is the issue that this legislature has confronted many, many times. I take great pride in the fact that women in the ACT have access to terminations.

Mr Pratt: Mr Assistant Speaker, I raise a point of order. We have asked a couple of times that, in accordance with standing orders, you direct Mr Berry to direct his comments through the chair

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, it is my understanding that he is directing his comments at me.

Mr Pratt: Well, you must be blind, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, if you wish to move a substantive motion against the ruling of the chair, you can. Otherwise, sit down.

Mr Pratt: Carry on, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, withdraw that.

MR BERRY: Stop the clock, please.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock.

Mr Pratt: I am not sure what you wish me to withdraw, but I will withdraw whatever it is you wish.


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