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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3004 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

(ii) any counselling of the woman in relation to the proposed abortion resulting from the discussion.

(1B) A woman who is a dependent minor may apply to the Children's Court for an order that a custodial parent of the woman specified in the application should be excluded from the operation of subsection (2), and the court may, if satisfied that the application should be granted, make an order in those terms.

(1C) An order under subsection (2) has effect according to its terms and shall not be reviewed, quashed or amended in or by any court.

(1D) Subsection (2) does not apply -

(a) in the case of a medical emergency; or

(b) where the effect of an order or orders under subsection (3) is that there is no custodial parent in relation to whom subsection (2) can operate.

(1E) In this section -

`dependent minor' means a person who is -

(a) under the age of 16 years; and

(b) is being supported by a custodial parent; and

`parent' includes guardian.".

There are two possible amendments to clause 9. Obviously, there is the amendment which I have just moved. Mr Moore has an amendment which, I assume, he will be able to speak to at least, if not move.

Mr Moore: I can foreshadow it.

MR HUMPHRIES: He can foreshadow it at least and we can consider it. Mr Speaker, it deals with the very vexing question of what to do about a person under the age of 18 who seeks an abortion. The present Bill, in effect, requires, very simply, that a person of that kind should have to get the consent of a parent for the obtaining of that abortion or, in certain circumstances, the permission of the Director of Family Services. Mr Speaker, I gather that it is the view of members that that is an unsatisfactory restriction on the capacity of a person under the age of 18 to get an abortion and I am proposing an alternative form of words which address the issue in a different way.

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