On Wednesday 12 December 2001, Labor MLA Wayne Berry introduced legislation into the ACT Legislative Assembly which would eliminate all the laws dealing with abortion in the ACT.
Berry has introduced two bills which would:
- ban the informed consent booklet with information independent of the abortion clinic for women considering an abortion;
- The informed consent booklet contains information about possible health risks to the mother and about support services available for pregnant women.
- end the 72-hour ‘cooling-off period’ for considering an abortion;
- stop the collection of abortion statistics for the ACT;
- take away protection for medical staff who don’t want to participate in abortions;
- end legal protection for the unborn child at any stage of pregnancy;
- allow abortions for any reason up till the day of birth.
On 15 May Mr Berry’s colleague, Katy Gallagher MLA, introduced a number of amendments to the Medical Practitioners Act, designed to supplement Mr Berry ‘s legislation. Despite claims that these amendments would protect the right to conscientious objection set out in the Health Regulation (Maternal Health Information) Act, the amendments actually specify a much more limited right.