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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3490 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

It would be interesting to see whether Ms Tucker wishes to live by her previous comments that it is not about guilt but about information and vote against what Mr Berry is moving here.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MR OSBORNE: Earlier today I accused Ms Tucker of using the word "bigot" in the debates we had last year. I would like to apologise because it appears that it was I who used the word "bigot". I knew the word had been used, but I was not quite sure who had used it. I do apologise to Ms Tucker. It is quite interesting to read the Hansard from 2.30 that morning. I would suggest members read it. I do apologise to Ms Tucker for that slur on her, and I hope that she finds it in her heart to forgive me.

MR BERRY (4.53), in reply: I will deal with Mr Smyth's brief comments first. I think you may have misheard what I said, Mr Smyth. In fact, I am not at all critical of your right to have narrow moral views on this issue, but what I do object to strenuously is that you would impose them on women. You are quite entitled to have these views. They are your views. But what I say is that you should keep them to yourself.

Mr Kaine and Mr Osborne talked at length about what they regarded as personal attacks on this issue. Mr Osborne also referred to some personal attacks on the Chief Minister. You have to expect people to get passionate about these issues, especially when - - -

Mr Smyth: Passionate personal attacks?

MR BERRY: I do not agree that they were personal attacks. You have to expect people to get passionate about these issues when the views of individual legislators in this Assembly are so repugnant to around 80 per cent of the community. It is not surprising that people express those views, both inside and outside of this place. Voters express those views to members of this place. That is not surprising at all, because this is an infringement of the liberty of women in one way or another. It is an infringement of their rights. That is what you set out to do.

It is not surprising at all that there are heated reactions to the approaches that have been taken. If these heated reactions had not occurred in response to what was earlier attempted in this debate, where would we be now? The right to seek a termination in the ACT may well have evaporated if there had not been a heated community reaction and a passionate debate about these issues. If people expect me not to be passionate about this because they are confronted by it, do not hold your breath. This is something that I have been committed to since the day I walked into this place and will be committed to until the day I walk out of it and thereafter.

The rights of women to make their own choices about these issues are a matter worthy of passion because it has been going on for eons. It is not about encouraging abortion or promoting abortion in any way. It is about making sure that women have the ultimate

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