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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2993 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

What sorts of depictions do you think are going to be used? I would suggest the sorts of depictions that are in the New Zealand document. They will be medical; they will be factually correct. Again I come back to the core issue and the basis of my support for this legislation. The information provided to a woman when she is making a decision should be complete, should be factual, should be independent and should allow her to make a balanced decision. Why on earth would you leave out some of the information? I have no idea.

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I am really concerned about what Mrs Carnell just said. Basically, what Mrs Carnell just said was that no-one is forcing anyone to look at anything.

Ms Carnell: No.

MS TUCKER: No. We had a discussion not very long ago about the objects of this Bill. The discussion we had was around proposed new paragraph 2A(b) which says:

ensure that a decision by a woman to proceed or not to proceed with an abortion is carefully considered; ...

This is the framework for this Bill, as Mr Moore explained. That sounds to me very much like there is going to be an emphasis on doctors to ensure that patients do look at this. Anyone who reads this debate in the future and has to try to interpret what on earth this Assembly actually means and how this Act is to be interpreted is going to end up extremely confused. As we have said so many times today, that will be a result of the fact that these members have pushed this through in undue haste.

MR BERRY (12.45 am): Ms Tucker made a point a little while ago when she talked about a woman with an unviable foetus who would in the normal course of events want to carry the child to term. Faced with the decision for an abortion, she would have to go through the process of looking at these pictures which may be approved under the amended clause. I think that is grotesque. I cannot, for the life of me, see why you would want a package of that sort of information put near a woman in the normal course of events, let alone in those sorts of circumstances. It troubles me why people would want to do that other than to send women on a guilt trip and to make them feel guilty about the whole affair.

Let us not forget that not too many hours ago Mr Humphries was drawing a comparison between the guilt trip that we send cigarette smokers on when they look at the health message on a cigarette pack. He was saying that Labor supported that guilt trip so why do we not support a guilt trip as a result of the information which is contained in this Bill? That is the point I make, Chief Minister. Mr Humphries knows what it is about. It is about creating a guilt trip.

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