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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 3 Hansard (21 March) . .

Page.. 784..


all people deserve the right to choose and control their own reproductive rights. No matter where someone lives, they deserve the right to control their own life, including if they live in the ACT.

The legislation I have tabled today does not, of course, resolve all of the issues relating to reproductive rights that I have raised. But I believe that it is an important step in the right direction, one I sincerely hope will lead to more and better action in the future and better health outcomes. In particular, it does not address issues around access to and provision of contraception.

Before ending my speech, I would like to thank very much the range of groups that I spoke to in preparing this bill. I have mentioned the Human Rights Commission. I have also spoken to medical professionals and a wide range of non-government organisations who are involved in this line of work and in advocacy for women, whatever their circumstances are. I thank them all for their support.

It is high time the ACT expanded access to safe and legal termination services, not in order to see them proliferate but to ensure that every child born in the ACT is a wanted child and that women and all people are empowered to make safe, timely and informed decisions about their own bodies, their future wellbeing and that of their families. Madam Speaker, I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Fitzharris) adjourned to the next sitting.

Child sexual abuse

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.20): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) in the ABS's 2006 Personal Safety Survey, nearly 1.3 million Australians reported having experienced sexual abuse before the age of 15 (956 600 women and 337 400 men);

(b) this amounts to 12 per cent of women and 4.5 per cent of men;

(c) 9.5 per cent of those reporting sexual abuse before age 15 were under age 5 when abuse first occurred;

(d) research has demonstrated that child sexual abuse can affect brain development, psychological and social functioning, self-esteem, mental health, personality, sleep, health risk behaviours, including substance use, self-harm and life expectancy; and

(e) the economic cost of child abuse in Australia has been estimated to run into billions of dollars;

(2) further notes that:

(a) since at least 1986, numerous experts have emphasised the need to better inform parents and other primary caregivers so that they can more effectively prevent and respond to child sexual abuse, with scholarly


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