Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2979 ..
MR OSBORNE (continuing):
The abortion clinic is a million dollar operation. I have some figures here. It is over $500 for the operation. If the figure of 2,000 abortions a year is correct, that is over $1m. We are talking about an industry that generates a lot of money. Because of the possibility of a conflict of interest, I will be supporting the amendment put up by Mr Humphries.
MS TUCKER (11.50): I will not be supporting Mr Humphries' amendment. I said this morning, but I will say it again, that I think it is a particularly paranoid and conspiracy-oriented approach that comes from Mr Osborne and Mr Humphries on this matter. It is just an astounding premise to say that doctors want to make women have abortions because they want the money; that women know nothing about what they are doing; that we have to make sure they understand absolutely everything; that we should test them if we can; and that we should get it into the legislation.
If this is about maternal health - and I believe that is what this Bill is called - how is it in the interests of the health of women to deny them access to the people who have expertise in this area in the ACT? That is exactly what this amendment would do, and it must be opposed.
MR RUGENDYKE (11.51): Mr Speaker, I also will not be supporting this amendment. In my mind, it implies a serious distrust of medical practitioners which I certainly do not subscribe to. I therefore will not support this amendment.
MR BERRY (11.52): I listened to Mr Humphries' speech in relation to this matter. First of all, Mr Moore was going to remove this provision and explained his reasons, then Mr Humphries explained how he was going to put it back. The chief law officer went to great lengths to put to us all of his reasons, but he did not once mention clause 7 of the Bill.
Mr Humphries: We are not voting on clause 7.
MR BERRY: You did not once mention it. I think Mr Moore was being very kind or confused when he described your contribution as eloquent. I would have called it deceitful. The first law officer really should be a little bit more open than that when he is describing laws of the Territory. This is one of those whacko hurdles that are put into place from an ideological position. I cannot believe that this would be tried on. The whole thing is bizarre. The way it is coming from the Government and everybody else opposite is quite bizarre. I think Mr Humphries' contribution was whacko.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.53): Mr Speaker, I am astonished by how trusting of doctors members of this place have suddenly become. After years of that side of the chamber telling us what charlatans doctors are and why we should not trust doctors as far as we can throw them, suddenly today they tell us that doctors will do the right thing when it comes to advising about abortion; that they will not break the rules; that they will be good guys and girls - - -