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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 September 2018) . . Page.. 3846 ..


Readers might not draw the same conclusion particularly if they are women who sustained haemorrhage-like bleeding, including the need for a blood transfusion, and/or re-evacuation, cardiovascular problems, a potentially lethal infection, or an ongoing pregnancy.

Nevertheless, the “safe and effective” mantra is one that prevails, and it is hard to displace.

Renate Klein’s book does outline many personal experiences, which I will not go into here.

Members may also like to read an article called “I was betrayed by a pill” which appeared in Marie Claire magazine. I would like members to note that in drawing from these articles I am not drawing from pro-life literature but from the pages of pro-abortion advocates and from Marie Claire magazine, which I do not think would ever call itself a pro-life publication.

For these reasons and apart from my general opposition to the extension of abortion, I think we should be very careful about making RU486 widely available to the women of Canberra.

There is one aspect of this legislation that I do welcome—and I congratulate Ms Le Couteur on one thing—which is the improvement to the way the issue of conscientious objection is dealt with in this legislation. I think that it is far better than it is in the current ACT legislation and superior to provisions in other jurisdictions.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MRS DUNNE: I want to conclude by making a couple of comments about the government’s provision to allow for the extension of exclusion zones. I note the minister’s comments about the recent court case of what is jokingly in our household referred to as the Moore Street Three: three septuagenarians who were fined under the existing provisions but whose case was dismissed in the Magistrates Court, which showed that silent prayer was not a protest. I welcome that provision.

I also note that it is interesting that this very week the UK Home Secretary has ruled out the provision of buffer zones around abortion clinics across the UK, the statement being that this would be an exercise against free speech and the right to pray. I think that that is something that we should bear in mind as we potentially legislate across the ACT. I think that the minister overestimates the power of a handful of mainly septuagenarians to disrupt the abortion industry in the ACT by simply saying the rosary or reading their Bible.

With that, I note what this bill does and I note that probably in this place today my views will be in the minority but it is important that I put on the record what my views are. I am sure that they are no surprise to anyone in this place. I repeat that I will not be supporting this legislation.


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