Page 2461 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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I thank her because it is important to remember and reflect that it really was not that long ago. It might feel like a long time ago, but it was not, when in this country, women and people who could be pregnant were put through that kind of shameful nastiness. Now, with this decision in America, it is important we share these kinds of stories and we share the experience of hatred, nastiness and judgement that others felt and that was put on women who were seeking an abortion—that we all maintain our rage around that and our constant vigilance. Because we know that there are conservative individuals, not very far away, who want to make that change and take that fundamental right away from women and people who can become pregnant.

We need to stand firm and in solidarity, arm in arm together, and we cannot allow that to happen. I was listening to and reflecting on what Ms Lawder was saying in her experience, and it literally sent a chill down my spine to think that in America
women and people who can be pregnant are now going to be put through those experiences again.

I do not want to make light of it and suggest that it could be possible in this country for that to happen. I am damn sure I will be standing up to make sure that it does not—for the young people in my life, so they do not have to have those kinds of experiences if they need to make the decision to seek out a health service like that. That is a terrifying place that we never want to return to in this city and in this country, which is why this motion is so important. I thank everybody who has spoken on it for their support, because we must show strength and we must be steadfast in our support for American women.

We show this through our words and our collective action. We have seen for decades in this country and across the world where women have stood together to support each other. We stand on the shoulders of the giants before us who took action: all of the women, the activists, the feminists, and those most recently who have taken action and lobbied and advocated for this change on behalf of all of us and the young people who come after us.

I want to also go back to the important announcements that we made today—Minister Stephen-Smith and I—because this is a positive story. Whilst we are sending messages of solidarity overseas to American women and people who can be pregnant, we are coming a long way here in the ACT. We have an excellent announcement today about improving the affordability of abortion in the ACT, making sure that it is legal, safe, and free. Because we know that one of the main barriers in seeking an abortion is the cost, and that cost should not be one of the barriers for people who are seeking a safe abortion in the ACT.

We know that one in three women experience an unexpected pregnancy in their lifetime, and it is essential for those women that they are able to access safe, affordable, and accessible abortion services, regardless of how much money they have. This should not be a barrier.

Finally, again, I want to thank and acknowledge all of the women and feminists in our community, even the male ones. My dad is a true feminist, and I am enormously proud to follow in his footsteps and continue the work of improving these kinds of services across our community for women and people who can become pregnant,

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