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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 3855 ..


they can only occur in the first nine weeks of pregnancy. The legislative changes will still make it easier, I hope, for these arrangements to occur in the ACT.

The second point is about delaying these legislative changes for potentially up to 12 months. While I understand that the minister wants to ensure that the health sector in the ACT is prepared for the change, I must say that there are at least two organisations that are ready to go on this issue now. They are doing it across the road, in Queanbeyan. They already provide telehealth services through most of the rest of the country.

As highlighted in my speech, we have not rushed to push availability and access to this medication in the ACT. It has been five years since the rigorous investigations by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the safety and efficiency of this medication for the purposes of abortion, and more than 10 years since the drug was able to be prescribed in Australia.

In agreeing to this amendment, I am hopeful that it will not cause further unnecessary delays in accessing medical abortions for the people of Canberra and that it will be put to good use so that the legislation, when put into action, will help the people of Canberra in times which can be very difficult for them. I commend the soon to be amended bill to the Assembly.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

R U OK? Day

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (6.39): I rise today on what should normally be a very happy occasion, International Talk Like a Pirate Day: "Arrgh, me hearties!" Unfortunately, though, today I rise to talk about something very serious, and something that is very close to my heart.

Last week was R U Okay? Day. It is a day when people are encouraged to check on their friends, their neighbours, their colleagues and everyone that they come in contact with, and ask, "Are you okay?" They are three simple little words that can mean the world.

Last year I was touched by suicide myself. In fact it was a year ago last week. Today I found out that a very dear former colleague and friend has also passed away. I rise today to raise awareness and to encourage everyone in the community to remember


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