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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2963 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

In relation to paragraph (c) - ensuring that abortions are only performed by appropriately qualified persons and in suitable premises - is anyone suggesting that that does not currently occur, or is anyone suggesting that under the Bill as proposed by Mr Osborne it would occur? I am not sure what the intention of paragraph (c) is. I do not understand what Mr Moore is attempting to achieve by outlining that. Perhaps he will take the opportunity later in the debate to clarify that for me, because I do not understand what he is trying to achieve by that. Paragraph (d) refers to providing statistical reports to government of the occurrences of abortions in the Territory. I do not see what the purpose of that is at all. I do not see what the point of that is at all. Why do we need to collect these statistics? Why do we need to do that? What is the point of that?

Mr Berry: You get them anyway. You get them off the Medicare records.

MR CORBELL: As my colleague Mr Berry quite rightly points out, it is already available through Medicare statistics. So, why on earth do we have that provision? I would say that we have that provision to enable those who are opposed to the provision of accessible terminations to say, "Look at how terrible the rate of terminations is in the Territory". Indeed Mr Smyth has been all day saying, "Look at all the unborn children", in his mind, "who have had their lives terminated". I do not see any reason for paragraph (d) at all.

Paragraph (e) refers to protecting the privacy of women having abortions. I can see some sense in this proposal. I can see that the Bill as proposed by Mr Osborne would grossly offend the privacy of women. Paragraph (f) provides for the right of persons and bodies to refuse to participate in abortions. I would certainly hope that that already occurs. I certainly do not see anything in Mr Osborne's Bill which prevents someone from exercising that right.

I must say that it is a confusing set of objects, half of which I think are probably in the light of how we see the provision of terminations currently occurring in the Territory proceeding, how they occur at the moment. I really do not understand the full weight of the others. So, I look forward to Mr Moore's comments in relation to that. But I think that highlights that, even at the very beginning of this debate in the detail stage, there is such a range of questions that need to be addressed that it is inappropriate to be considering the matter at this stage and we are progressing down a path, unfortunately, where we will make a bad law. Mr Speaker, that is something that I am not at all comfortable with. I should flag now that, regardless of the amendments that are moved and agreed to throughout the detail stage, I will be opposing the Bill as amended.

MR QUINLAN (10.50): Mr Speaker, I move the following amendment circulated in my name:

Proposed new paragraph 2A(b), omit the proposed new paragraph.

Mr Speaker, I understand what Mr Moore is trying to do with his amendments and we can debate them and vote on them in toto. I just happened to read this object and consider it in the light of object 1, which ensures that certain information is given.

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