President of the ACT Right to Life Association, Mary Joseph, said she was gutted by the vote in the ACT Legislative Assembly last night, which abolished all criminal laws relating to abortion and took away all protections for women considering an abortion, such as an informed consent booklet produced independently of the abortion industry.
“Effectively now a late term abortion specialist doctor could operate in Canberra without fear of legal restraint and abortions could be performed up to the moment of birth”, said Ms Joseph. “Whether that happens tomorrow or in ten years time, this is a significant and bad change.
“Women will no longer have the protection of having access to an informed consent booklet, produced independently of the abortion industry. The abortion industry, which has a financial conflict of interest in offering full and impartial information to women, will once again be the primary source of information for women.
“Nurses, health workers and counsellors will no longer have the legislated right to refuse to refer women for abortions because of a conscientious objection.
“And what will the Government do to address the complex issues of women forced to consider abortion? Nothing. The social factors which force women to consider an abortion they would prefer not to have will not be addressed. The sadness of women who have had an abortion will be ignored.
“The ACT Right to Life Association will continue to highlight these problems, do what it can to address them, and fully inform women of the hidden negatives of abortion. We’re in this for the long haul.”
Issued: 22 August 2002
Contact: Mary Joseph, president of the ACT Right to Life Association Inc, Tel 02 6253 3100