Page 3814 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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You can force them to have cooling-off periods like you did once before. You can force them to go through all sorts of hoops as you did before. You can wave your finger at them when figures on the number of terminations come out. All of a sudden there is the cry from the Right to Life Association and other tub thumping anti-abortionists about the babies that are dead. These are the sorts of tactics that the Christian right amongst you lot get up to. It is an absolute disgrace!

I applaud Mr Gentleman for moving this motion tonight because it is extremely important that the views of those opposite are on the record. I can see now that there is a bit of a mood swing. They say, “We are not going to recriminalise it.” I want to see Mrs Burke support the law reform that has occurred. Front up and vote on it because the community out there deserve to know.

In the course of this debate I want to applaud Helen Cross. Helen Cross stood up against the tide in the Liberal Party and voted to support those changes because she knew it was right. She knew that the approach that had been taken by the Liberals on this question was obscene. That is my position. The position of the Liberals and the Christian right on this has been obscene for a long time, and continues to be in other places.

Mr Corbell: And Mr Pratt says we should listen to them all.

MR BERRY: Mr Pratt’s position is that abortion is a problem, a concern. It is the solution for many, many women. If the Liberals had had their way, 1,200 or 1,500 women would still be travelling interstate to have terminations. That is what would be happening here in the ACT if you people had your way. That is what would happen.

Mr Mulcahy: What do you think about euthanasia?

MR BERRY: This is not about that debate. You can interject all you like—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Berry, do not address the interjections.

MR BERRY: I might as well label you too, mate. You are somebody who wants to associate with the Christian right. Go for your life, son. What we need to know, through you, Mr Assistant Speaker, is where you stand. Honeyed words are all very well, Mr Mulcahy, but we really need to know exactly where you come from.

I know a few things about where you come from. I have talked about the tobacco industry and the grog barons and all that sort of stuff. I know where you come from, but we need to know where you come from on the issue of pro-choice as well because the community out there need to know what the Christian right in this place is going to do about access to terminations for ACT women and how they are going to legislate in the future if we ever again have the misfortune of their having anything to do with government.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to a later hour.

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