Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2820 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Mr Humphries ) agreed to:
That leave of absence from 3 to 19 September inclusive be given to Mr Quinlan and Mr Humphries.
MS TUCKER (3.48): I believe that this debate is of great concern. To be honest, I am very unhappy that we even have to have it because I am totally opposed to the mechanism that has been used by Mr Humphries and Mr Smyth to bring about these regulations. When we debated the Bill last year I challenged those who were voting for the Bill to demonstrate that they really had worked through the legal and health implications of it. We did not get a satisfactory answer from the members who were supporting the Bill. By voting for the legislation, they accepted that an expert medical panel consisting of a specialist in obstetrics and a specialist in neonatal medicine nominated by the ACT Health and Community Care Services Board, a specialist in obstetrics and a specialist in neonatal medicine nominated by Calvary Hospital, a specialist in psychiatry and a registered nurse specialising in women's health nominated by Calvary Hospital, and a registered nurse specialising in neonatal medicine nominated by the ACT Health and Community Care Services Board would determine an information package for women seeking an abortion in the ACT. Section 14(4) of the Act states:
The advisory panel...may, for the purposes of paragraph 8(1)(d), approve materials which present pictures or drawings and descriptions of the anatomical and physiological characteristics of a foetus at regular intervals.
The crucial word, as many other members have said today, is "may". This legislation gave power to an expert panel to approve materials containing information on the medical risks of the termination of a pregnancy and of carrying a pregnancy to term. At this point, I remind the Assembly of the definition of "expert". According to the Macquarie Dictionary, an expert is someone who has special skill or knowledge in a particular field. As other members have already pointed out, no-one in this place is