Thursday, 11th April 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said the Health Minister has ignored the Tasmanian community’s concerns about the abortion bill despite making changes to her private member’s bill.

ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said Ms O’Byrne’s moves to soften the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill is a partial but inadequate response to community concern about the extreme nature of her abortion bill.

“Sadly the submission process has been a sham from the start,” Mr Brown said.

Despite a very short consultation period 2000 submissions were received.

“Despite Ms O’Byrne admitting 87% of respondents were opposed to abortion she still wants to allow abortion on demand,” Mr Brown said.

“How can 2,000 submissions be reviewed in less than a week?

“This is just another sign of a politician determined to force a radical social agenda onto people without genuine consultation.”

Mr Brown said it was also inappropriate for a private member’s bill to be promoted on a government department website.

“It is the duty of legislators to protect its most vulnerable citizens, to protect freedom of conscience and speech, and to provide help for those women in making a truly informed decision about the welfare of their children,” Mr Brown said.

“This is a genuine ethical issue of life and death that can’t be rushed through and all the more so with so much public interest in it,” he said.