Page 2457 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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health services; a determined and thoughtful approach to justice that builds communities and reduces incarceration; and investment in our local environment.

This budget does all those things, and the Greens are proud of our role in steering it to these outcomes. In government, and on the crossbench, we will keep striving to build a caring, compassionate, sustainable future for Canberrans.

Debate (on motion by Mr Barr) adjourned to the next sitting.

Estimates 2022-2023—Select Committee


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to:

That the Appropriation Bill 2022-2023 and the Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2022-2023 be referred to the Select Committee on Estimates for inquiry and report by 9 September 2022.

Health—abortion rights

Debate resumed.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (5.42): I would like to thank Minister Berry for bringing this motion and for the opportunity to speak in support of it. I would also like to take a second to thank and commend Ms Lawder for sharing her powerful story in this place earlier today, which cannot have been easy, but it definitely showed how important this topic is and how important it is to make sure we are working towards improvements for everyone.

I think quite a few people would question why we need to discuss Roe v Wade in the ACT Legislative Assembly, given that we are not in America and US law does not cover us. I know from my own personal experience, when Roe v Wade was announced in Australia, every female that I knew was asking, “What are the implications for me?” It was not a question of how the law applies to them, but it was a question of how society views a woman’s right to choose, and how they are going to enshrine that within the institutional responses, There was a huge amount of discussion at the time: though we might have access in Australia to these services, they can be improved, and healthcare provision can be improved. A lot of barriers were identified and many people I know personally discussed that, though we have it good, it is far from perfect.

The discussion also took in a lot of consideration as to how fast one decision in the US, although quite significant, changed the whole landscape there. Let us consider just how fast access to abortion has changed in the USA since Roe v Wade. Late last year, a bill was introduced by North Carolina state legislators that would legalise violence against anyone undergoing or performing an abortion. It has been reported that the bill proposes for abortion to be considered first degree murder and thus allow private citizens to use deadly force to prevent someone from ending a pregnancy. Reports have also cautioned that the bill received limited support from legislators due to its extreme nature, but how do we even define and tackle extremity when much of what the codified post-Roe legislation was considered extreme only months ago?

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