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5 Dec 2018

Both major political parties’ MPs will receive a conscience vote on abortion law changes | ABC Radio Adelaide

ABC Radio Adelaide | ABC Radio Adelaide

Both major political parties have indicated their MPs will receive a conscience vote on abortion law changes being introduced to State Parliament. The Greens are introducing the bill today to remove abortion from the Criminal Code and institute safe access zones banning people from protesting near abortion services.

Human Services Minister, Michelle Lensink says she and her colleagues will consider the bill over the summer break: “I commend Tammy Franks for putting the issue onto the agenda. The laws in South Australia are quite old and are now sort of a bit behind other states. It’s a very sensitive issue obviously and I think for all the major parties it’ll be a conscience issue.” “I think a number of Members of Parliament are supportive of that position.”

Labor Leader, Peter Malinauskas says he’ll be granting his MPs the freedom to vote as they please and he says he hasn’t decided how he’ll be voting: “Well I haven’t had a chance to get a full briefing on the bill but in all issues of this nature that are potentially controversial but are social questions, I’ll do the same thing I’ve always done, I’ll examine the details of the proposed legislation and examine my conscience and try and arrive at a considered view.” “I firmly believe that on matters such as this the conscience vote should be applied.”

While The Green’s Tammy Franks was speaking on the issue, one member of the public interjected forcing the Legislative Council President to intervene.

Franks: “Abortion has no link to long-term mental health problems.”

Member of the Public: [uninterpretable interruption from Gallery].

President: “You will be excluded from the Gallery. The Member is entitled to be heard in silence. This is not for you to be here for participation.”

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