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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3368 ..


Motion (by Mr Wood ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Unborn children

MR PRATT (6.15): Mr Speaker, I rise to announce my intention to introduce in the next sitting legislation to protect the unborn child. Whilst scrutinising the Crimes Act in recent months I have identified the fact that the Crimes Act, regrettably, omits such protective legislation. The Crimes Act does not protect the unborn child. That is why I rose yesterday in question time to double-check on this matter by asking the Attorney-General whether he was aware of any such legislative provision. He was unable to answer that question. However, I am clear that such a weakness does exist in the ACT legislation and I will seek to rectify that.

It is very important for the house to note that the draft legislation that I have been working on for some months does recognise lawful abortion and does not seek to challenge that. It is with great regret that I point the house's attention to a terrible incident reported in yesterday's media, a matter of much sadness, which highlights the need for such legislation right across the nation. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table a story illustrating that matter that was in the press yesterday.

Leave granted.

MR PRATT: I present the following paper:

"Road rage"-Copy of newspaper article from "The Daily Telegraph", dated September 25, 2002.

Mr Speaker, the legislation, an amendment to the Crimes Act, will ensure that those who assault a pregnant woman will be charged not only with offences against the woman but also for the outcome of such assault on the unborn child, ranging from assault on the unborn through to manslaughter and murder. I have full party room support for this legislation. I have spent a great deal of time working on the bill to get it right and I look forward to having the opportunity between now and the next sitting to discuss this bill with all MLAs with a view to having the bill passed unanimously by the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.17 pm until Tuesday, 12 November 2002, at 10.30 am.

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