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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3028 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

delete "regular intervals" and have it at weeks 2, 4, 8, 12, 18 and 22. Is this supposed to apply to a person who might only be into the eighth week of her term? Does she still have to be shown weeks 12, 18 and 22 as well? It is just bizarre. What are you trying to do?

Mr Osborne: Provide them with information.

MR BERRY: Tell them what?

Mr Osborne: The High Court - - -

MR BERRY: Oh, this is to tell them what a foetus might have looked like.

Ms Tucker: I am surprised that they do not have one of a full-grown child running around.

MR BERRY: Yes, why not? Why not have a doll to nurse or something like that? This is just bizarre. It is the sort of stuff you imagine in movies. Why is it that you have to go to such lengths? You have lost the race. Give up. Women are now choosing to have abortions. Somebody here said, "The caravan has moved on", according to the story that was given to me. It really has. This sort of nonsense only serves to scar people. It does not assist in the process at all. Why do you want to scar people? Is it just to make an ideological point of your own? That is fine, but keep it to yourself if you want to worry about these things. It is all very well to worry about it and try to convince people that they should not seek terminations; but, after you have lost the race, to try to scar people with that sort of an embarrassment is just appalling. Again, I am lost for adjectives to describe those sorts of moves. This cannot possibly be supported.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (2.55 am): Mr Berry, you are quite right about that. The term that I used was "regular intervals". In fact, that was a modification from the original legislation, which you will remember was "fortnightly".

Mr Berry: That is appalling enough.

MR MOORE: I do not disagree with that. It is appalling enough. But the decision, of course, will be made by the advisory panel as to what the appropriate regularity would be. Heaven knows, we have made enough effort to have an advisory panel that is 50 per cent appointed by the board of Calvary Hospital. I think they can manage the intervals at an appropriate level, based on reasonable help from within their profession.

MR QUINLAN (2.55 am): I would just back that up. Mr Speaker, if we go to the trouble of appointing a panel of experts because we want appropriate information, then we should allow them to decide on that appropriate information. It is prescriptive enough to say "regular". Two, four, six, eight is unnecessary.

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