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Napthine Says He Won’t Introduce Or Support Legislation To Restrict Abortions

The Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, has released a video statement in which he says he will not introduce or support abortion legislation to restrict a woman’s right to choose.

The statement comes after today’s decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop all criminal charges against Frankston MLA Geoff Shaw over alleged rorting of his travel entitlements.

The DPP’s decision ensures that the government will not face a risky by-election which would have ensued if Shaw had been convicted. The government has a one-seat majority in the Legislative Assembly and relies on Shaw’s vote. Elected as a Liberal, Shaw now sits as an independent after he resigned from the parliamentary party earlier this year and precipitated the resignation of former premier Ted Baillieu.

Shaw is engaged in a battle with the Assembly Speaker, Ken Smith, who last week protected the government’s position by expelling two Labor members and thereby guaranteeing the government’s survival until the new year. Smith’s survival as Speaker beyond January will be keenly watched in 2014.

There has been speculation that Shaw wants legislation to undo or restrict the decriminalisation of abortion that was passed on a conscience vote five years ago. At the time, Napthine opposed the legislation whilst Baillieu supported it.

With next year’s election now less than a year away, Napthine appears keen to take the abortion issue off the political agenda.

  • Watch Napthine’s video statement (1m)

John Young: Gillard Politicises Abortion

This article is reposted with permission from the True Believers page on Facebook.

It is written by John Young, a Sydney barrister. In the 1970s and 1980s, he worked for Lionel Bowen, deputy leader of the Labor Party. Bowen was a minister in the Whitlam government and Deputy Prime Minister in the Hawke government until 1990.

Abortion

I am John Young, one of the founders of the True Believers page on Facebook.

In 1979, I was working as Private Secretary to Lionel Bowen, then Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, when a National Party MP, Stephen Lusher, moved a motion in the House of Representatives to restrict the payment of medical benefits for terminations of pregnancy.

In 1979, the House of Representatives was comprised entirely of men. The Coalition was in government and many Australians, particularly women, feared that the Lusher motion would be carried. [Read more…]


Howard And Abbott Abortion Counselling Press Conference

This is the press conference held by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Tony Abbott on the subject of pregnancy support counselling.

They announced that the government would introduce a Medicare payment for pregnancy support counselling by General Practitioners. Additionally, the government would fund a National Pregnancy Support telephone helpline.

  • Listen to Howard and Abbott (24m)

Transcript of joint press conference with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Tony Abbott.

HOWARD: Well ladies and gentlemen this news conference has been called by Mr Abbott and me to announce some Government proposals regarding pregnancy support counselling. [Read more…]


Abbott: Abortion Is The Easy Way Out And A Measure Of Our Moral Health

The Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, says Australia’s abortion rate is a measure of society’s moral health.

Addressing the Adelaide University Democratic Club, Abbott said that “even those who think that abortion is a woman’s right should be troubled by the fact that 100,000 Australian women choose to destroy their unborn babies every year. What does it say about the state of our relationships and our values that so many women (and their husbands, lovers and families) feel incapable of coping with a pregnancy or a child?” [Read more…]


About The Women’s Electoral Lobby

The Women’s Electoral Lobby was formed just prior to the 1972 election.

These notes were written by the Women’s Electoral Lobby.

WEL’s Background

The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) was formed in 1972 just prior to a Federal election. WEL’s first survey of political candidates revealed a gross lack of knowledge or even interest in the many issues affecting women in Australia.

Further surveys gained public notoriety and encouraged the formation of branches in all capital and many regional cities. Since then, winning government has often been attributed to the women’s vote. Over the years, WEL has continued to provide well researched submissions to both sides of the political fence on a range of issues, from economics and employment, to health and human relationships. WEL policies have been based on the assumption of women’s right to choose and to control her own destiny; WEL’s approach has been to demand that right be entrenched into legislation, and embedded in political, economic and social structures. [Read more…]