Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2997 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
There were three best-selling books. One is called Baby and Child by Penelope Leach, there is another one by Sheila Kitzinger, and there is another one called Everywoman: A gynaecological guide for life by Derek Llewellyn-Jones which clearly outlines the wonder of this process, the development of another human life.
What Mr Osborne seeks to do with his Bill is simply to dispel this concept that what you abort is just a bundle of cells; it is something that you can do. What he is asking people to do, and what I would ask women to do, is to consider that it is a human life. These pictures clearly show that it is a developing human being. The pro-abortion lobby, the pro-choice people, will never concede that point. None of them have stood in this place today and said that it is not. None of them have offered an alternative time as to when life begins. They all hide behind the concept of choice when what we are talking about is a woman making a decision about another life. These pictures are essential if you wish to make an informed choice. They are the heart of Mr Osborne's Bill and I will be voting against these amendments.
MR CORBELL (1.00 am): Mr Speaker, Mr Smyth says that what Mr Osborne is endeavouring to do is ask women to consider that it is a human life. I would say to Mr Smyth and to other members of this place who support his contention that that is exactly what women do. They make that judgment when they decide whether or not to have a termination. That is exactly the judgment they make. If they believe that it is a human life then clearly they have the option of not proceeding with the termination. That is a choice that they make, and that is why the choice argument is fundamental. Women will seek to inform themselves fully on this issue because it is an important decision. They do not need this information foisted upon them in order to make that informed decision. That is what Mr Smyth and others who argue in favour of the provision of this information are doing and it is wrong.
MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again.
MS TUCKER: I still want to follow on with how people in the future will interpret what is coming out of this debate now in terms of what are the obligations of medical practitioners. Patients also would find it very difficult to understand what their requirements are. The courts also are going to have real problems with this. What we see in the objects is: "Ensure that a decision by a women to proceed or not to proceed with an abortion is carefully considered". We are told tonight by members here that no information is to be forced on anyone. Then we go to clause 7 which is headed, "What information must be provided". Clause 7, if the amendment is accepted, will read:
Where it is proposed to perform an abortion, a medical practitioner shall -
(a) properly, appropriately and adequately provide the woman with advice about ...