Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2607 ..

Bill agreed to.

Medical Practitioners (Maternal Health) Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 15 May 2002, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS GALLAGHER (9.27), in reply: Mr Deputy Speaker, I will close the debate. These are very straightforward amendments with the straightforward purposes of protecting the right of women seeking abortion to the safest medical care, protecting the right of medical practitioners and others to avoid being involved in an abortion procedure if they do not wish to be, and also to set out clearly that abortions can only be performed in an approved medical facility.

We have all said everything we need to say on this matter during the debate. I do not think I have to go on any further, other than to say that this amendment bill was drafted in consideration of the concerns that have been raised with me, and with other members, about the absence of these clauses if the Osborne legislation was repealed. After I discussed this with many of my colleagues, it became clear that the concerns were legitimate, and could be covered by an existing piece of legislation, and that is what this bill is about. I urge all members here to support this bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MR STEFANIAK (9.29): Mr Deputy Speaker, I ask for leave to move amendments 1 and 2 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I thank members. I move amendments Nos 1 and 2 [see schedule 1 at page 2633].

When I looked at this bill and saw the particular penalties it contains, I noted a potential inconsistency. I do not know what Ms Gallagher wants to do. I did speak to her briefly about it.

Now that Mr Berry's bill has been successful, we do not have any criminal sanctions. However, Ms Gallagher's bill seeks to impose a criminal sanction, only in relation to someone who is not a medical practitioner carrying out an abortion. Someone who is not

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .