Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2880 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
as to the decision she makes. This also is not true. The information that this Bill would seek to put before a woman considering an abortion would prove this not to be so. So I guess it is understandable that those who are in favour of abortion would seek not to have this information placed before a woman considering abortion.
Those who would vote against this Bill claim to be pro-choice but are against informed choice. Why? Because they realise that their arguments against this Bill are flawed and any information that shows up the flaws in their justification of abortion are to be resisted; they are to be stopped at all costs. If you are truly pro-choice you should be in favour of this Bill. Let me quote the late Sir William Liley, Professor of Perinatal Physiology, formerly of the University of Auckland, who said:
Biologically at no stage can we subscribe to the view that the foetus is a mere appendage of the mother. Genetically the mother and the baby are separate individuals from conception.
Professor Liley went on to say:
The unborn child may, for example, be black and male with an AB positive blood type while his mother is a white woman with an O negative blood. The baby cannot be part of the mother. Indeed, it is foreign tissue to the mother. The unborn child's immediate environment, the amniotic sac, and his support system, the placenta and cord, which allow the exchange of food and oxygen from the mother's body to the child and the removal of wastes, are not part of the woman's body, but are formed by the child and have the child's chromosomes.
Mr Speaker, it is imperative that this information be conveyed to women considering an abortion.
This is surely the only situation where we allow the law, or the law as it is interpreted, to allow one person to decide the fate of another's life. Abortion brings us to an amazing divide in logic. Clearly it is the life of another that is at stake and were that life allowed to continue we actually have a whole arm of medical science devoted to the care of that life, the care of the unborn. Indeed, Mr Speaker, we strongly counsel all pregnant women to be especially aware of the care required for the life they carry within them. We run health promotion programs encouraging women not to smoke, not to drink alcohol, to maintain a sensible diet for the good of the unborn, and yet out of the same health budget we can fund abortion.
Those who say they are pro-choice say that it is not the right of this place to decide, that it is up to the woman, and yet would deny them access to information that is vital to the making of an informed choice. We have a responsibility in this place to make sound and balanced laws, and this Bill finally puts in place some balance that will protect the rights of the unborn as well as the health of the mother.