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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 November 2005) . . Page.. 4174 ..


child does not seek to undermine current legislation regarding abortion. The abortion issue is a separate issue and it is a separate battle for debate another day.

If I may finish by talking about the issue of protection of the pregnant woman and the unborn, under current laws a woman has the right to abort if that is her choice. But so too does a woman have the right to take to full term. My difficulty is that the Chief Minister does not seek to enshrine that right, to ensure that the law reflects the right of a woman to take her unborn to full term. His amendment today really was a lame attempt to appease perhaps lobbyists who have been upset because he did not support previous attempts by the opposition to try to enshrine that right.

Indeed, the government’s decriminalisation in 2001 of the law on abortion, which was of course the government’s choice, which was the position pursued by the government, did open up a loophole which the Chief Minister has negligently presided over since because he is ideologically blind sighted on a narrow civil liberties platform in favour of only one lobby.

Today, unfortunately, the sentencing debate, which covered a broad range of issues, was turned on its head by the Chief Minister, who was clearly determined to turn the debate into a debate on abortion and misled the community by indicating that I stand for undermining existing law or undermining the government’s existing position on the management of abortion. I remind the house of what I said when I tabled my legislation seeking to protect the pregnant woman and the unborn. I said:

There are a number of key features in the Crimes Amendment Bill 2005—

which was my bill—

that make it very clear that lawful abortions in the ACT are recognised and sanctioned in the provisions of this bill.

I went on to say:

The bill does not go against the Crimes (Abolition of Offences of Abortion) Act 2002.

I say again that the bill did not go against the Crimes (Abolition of Offences of Abortion) Act 2002. I stated then:

This bill—

the bill that I was debating—

clearly excludes lawful abortions and enshrines the acknowledgment of lawful abortions in the crimes act. In addition, the bill also provides that it does not apply to anything done by a pregnant woman in relation to her unborn child.

I also stated:

This bill is not an attempt to revisit or to undermine the decisions made by this Assembly in relation to abortion. Abortion laws in all other jurisdictions provide


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