Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2617 ..
MS MacDONALD (continuing):
I have to say that I do agree with what Mrs Dunne just said. I know that, for Calvary Hospital, it would go against the grain to talk about abortions proceeding. I really do not believe that we can actually say that this one is correct, and for that reason I will be voting no.
MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (10.11): I concur with what Ms MacDonald has just said. I think that repealing the provision of section 12 of the maternal health information act in favour of the provisions which now appear in the legislation at section 55E may already go a long way towards doing what Ms MacDonald just described.
The previous provisions gave people the express right not to refer a person to another practitioner willing to do those things. That has been taken out now, and the law is now silent. I think that many of the rules of interpretation would lead one to suggest that, if the rules were expressed there and were removed, it is now the case that the Assembly does not wish those previous provisions to subsist.
However, that is not an argument in favour of voting for Ms Tucker's amendment. I think it is a dangerous amendment. I cannot help thinking of a parallel: what if a provision in the law said that there is an obligation on a person who encounters, say, an asylum seeker who has escaped lawful custody to dob that person in to lawful authority, and to bring the authorities into contact with that person as soon as possible. I suspect that Ms Tucker would find that provision most offensive, and would be loath to support it. I think this provision has much the same flavour.
That Ms Tucker's amendment No 1 be agreed to.
The Assembly voted-
Ayes 8 Noes 9
Mr Berry Mr Hargreaves Mr Cornwell Mr Quinlan
Mr Corbell Mr Stanhope Mrs Dunne Mr Smyth
Mrs Cross Ms Tucker Mr Humphries Mr Stefaniak
Ms Dundas Ms MacDonald Mr Wood
Ms Gallagher Mr Pratt
Question so resolved in the negative.
Mrs Dunne: I move the amendment circulated in my name.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is that in substitution for the amendment circulated about proposed new section 55F?
Mrs Dunne: No.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: We have moved on from proposed new section 55E. I want to make the point that you will need leave to do that, otherwise we would have a situation with any legislation before this Assembly whereby people would be switching back and forth as they think of