For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 24 Nov 2013.
As the NSW Parliament debated the Zoe bill, defending the rights of the unborn child in cases of abuse or injury, Tasmania’s Upper House passed legislation this week removing abortion from the State’s criminal code, allowing women to terminate their pregnancy up to 16 weeks without a doctor’s consent. The bill cleared the Lower House in April.
The new law compels doctors and counsellors opposed to abortion to refer women to other practitioners. But the Australian Christian Lobby’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said, “Many doctors who are opposed to abortion say that they still feel complicit in the process by handing someone a document” explaining how to obtain an abortion.
Launceston MLC Rosemary Armitage said, “There’s no such thing as a safe abortion – someone always dies.”
The legislation also introduced fines and up to 12 months jail for silent protest outside an abortion clinic, which opponents say infringes the right to freedom of speech.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.