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Minister Mary Wooldridge’s pro-choice stance on abortion leads to low ranking by conservative micro-parties
November 19, 2014 | Henrietta Cook

Conservative micro-parties have put senior government minister Mary Wooldridge near the bottom of their preference flows in the upper house because of her pro-choice stance on abortion.

Ms Wooldridge is the only Liberal MP to express a view on abortion in a survey ahead of the state election.

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Zoe’s Law could take NSW backwards in women’s rights
6 November 2014 | Alexandra Barratt

A bill due to be debated in the upper house of the NSW Parliament will bestow legal personhood to fetuses of 20 weeks or more for the purpose of grievous bodily harm offences in the Crimes Act, if passed.

With the potential to erode women’s rights to autonomy, informed consent and liberty over pregnancy and childbirth decisions, “Zoe’s Law” takes the state into uncharted legal and medical territory.

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Sex-selective abortion debate is a smokescreen for an attack on women’s reproductive rights
Eleanor Robertson | theguardian.com, Friday 26 September 2014

Where are feminists on the issue of sex-selection abortion? Probably helping women with problems that are actually happening, the radical harpies

It’s almost a privilege to watch naked hypocrisy of the sort displayed by Cory Bernardi in the Senate yesterday. During debate on senator John Madigan’s bill, which seeks to end Medicare funding for sex-selective abortion, Bernardi remarked:

That is the question before us today: are we prepared to uphold the rights of girls and women? Are we prepared to address the multiple manifestations of gender discrimination which are attributable to these sex-selection abortions?

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Undercover Audio Exposes Anti-Abortion Activists’ Alarming Scare Tactics
August 13, 2014 | AlterNet

They’re tracking doctors and patients in a “very sophisticated spreadsheet.”

New undercover audio (posted below) reveals just how far anti-abortion activists’ goals are from the peaceful “sidewalk counselors” they claim to be. The audio, taken from a training session at Texas’ Capitol entitled “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” exposes the disturbing strategies used by anti-abortion activists in order to harass patients into not having the procedure.

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No anti-abortion activist should be able to mislead women to ‘rescue’ them
Van Badham | theguardian.com, Thursday 24 July 2014

If those who oppose abortions cared about women’s health, they would not spuriously link the procedure with breast cancer, or work to reduce access to life-saving health care

So Angela Lanfranchi is coming to Australia to speak at the World Congress of Families event. The baggage the American doctor is bringing with her includes not only speaker’s notes on her discredited presentation arguing abortion is linked with breast cancer, but also an anti-choice tradition of peddling this information out of a concern for women’s health, while playing down their theological or political agenda.

Lanfranchi will be representing the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute at the controversial gathering. Its website is worth a visit: there are pink ribbon symbols plastered over downloadable fact sheets that use some peer-reviewed articles that consider a possible link between the pill and breast cancer to proclaim that “the pill kills” – and that along with eating more broccoli and tuna, women should avoid abortions, have children as young as possible and only use natural family planning as contraception.

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Attorney-General Robert Clark defends upcoming address to Melbourne anti-abortion conference
Wed 16 Jul 2014 | ABC News

Robert Clark will give a welcome address at the World Congress of Families in Melbourne.

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark will not say if he endorses the views to be presented at a conference in Melbourne run by an anti-abortion group from the United States.

Mr Clark will deliver the welcoming address to the World Congress of Families, which will be held by an American group that opposes abortion and the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews is also due to speak at the event.

Mr Clark said it was one of several conferences he would attend this year to represent the Government.

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State Attorney-General Robert Clark to address hardline pro-life event
July 15, 2014 | Josh Gordon, Heath Aston

State Attorney-General Robert Clark is set to address a hardline pro-life event in Melbourne organised by a controversial US-based group dedicated to preventing abortion and the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Less than three months before the November 29 state election, Mr Clark will deliver a “welcome to Victoria” speech to the World Congress of Families – an event which also features an American doctor promoting a discredited link between abortion and breast cancer, a promoter of Russia’s “crusade” against homosexuality, and representatives from the hard-right Rise Up Australia Party.

The conference, which will take place late next month, will be opened and closed by federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, who, according to the flyer for the event, is an international ambassador for the congress.

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By Paul Gregoire Jul 1 2014

Abortion is an illegal act in New South Wales. It’s an offence for a woman to undergo an abortion and for a doctor to perform one under Sections 82-84 of the NSW Crimes Act 1900. As abortions are readily available within the state, many in the community are unaware that the procedure is illegal. Which begs the question: if a law is so out-of-touch with society’s values that it’s become unenforceable, why even have it at all?

NSW Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi says it hasn’t changed because most politicians are uncomfortable discussing it. “It seems that in New South Wales we are reluctant to talk about this subject because of the stigma and shame that surrounds it. It is unacceptable that even discussing a medical procedure like abortion has to happen in the shadows,” Faruqi said.

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Shaw drops abortion bombshell
May 8, 2014 | The Age

Balance of power MP Geoff Shaw will unleash a potentially toxic debate upon state parliament as he vows to introduce sweeping amendments to Victoria’s abortion laws.

The Frankston MP has reportedly promised to introduce a bill ahead of this year’s state election outlawing gender-selection abortions and forcing doctors to resuscitate babies who survive the abortion process.

The changes are likely to cause headaches for both Premier Denis Napthine and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews, as well as unleashing debate and division across the parliament.

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Abortion scandal: Inside Britain’s unregulated ‘pro-life’ clinics
By Emma Barnett, Claire Newell, Holly Watt and Ben Bryant | 11 Feb 2014

Undercover Telegraph reporters reveal what’s really going on inside unregulated clinics that offer misleading information to women considering abortions

View footage

Pope tweets backing for huge U.S. anti-abortion rally
VATICAN CITY | Wed Jan 22, 2014

Pope Francis has used Twitter to back an annual anti-abortion rally, the March for Life, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of activists to Washington on Wednesday.

“I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable,” he said on his Twitter account in a message that was quickly re-tweeted thousands of times.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has some 11.5 million followers on his Twitter account in several languages, @pontifex.

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Letter to Editor: Sunday Age
Submitted 15th December 2013

Dear editor,

Contrary to the opinion of Dr. Newell (“Doctors In Conscience”, December
15) the existing abortion laws balances freedom of conscience with
obligations as a public professional.

The section in question does not require a doctor to perform an abortion
against their conscience, except in the case when a women’s life is in
danger. But they are required to refer when they do not wish to carry out
a procedure in accord to a patient’s needs.

It is not a debate just about freedom of conscience, but rather where
freedom of conscience meets with public professional obligation. There are
many other circumstances where people of faith, for example, have to bite
their lip and accept universal secular law, and this is similar.

The onus is on those who wish to refuse referral or are willing to let a
woman die rather than perform an abortion to provide secular reasons – and
only secular reasons – on why their “right of conscience” is more
important than patient needs or even patient lives.

It is doubtful that medical professionals have some special power in moral
choices that they can ride roughshod over the medical rights of women in

Yours sincerely,

Lev Lafayette
Victorian Secular Lobby, Inc.

The new anti-abortion hero and the abortion death penalty
November 8th, 2013, Dan’s Blogs, by Daniel Matthews

On October 12, clashing demonstrations in the Melbourne CBD brought reproductive rights back into the Australian spotlight. Anti-abortion politicians and activists have gone on the attack, on the streets and in Parliament.

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Victorian government leaves open changes to abortion laws
November 10, 2013, The Age, by Henrietta Cook

The Napthine government is leaving open the possibility of changes to Victoria’s abortion laws ahead of an investigation into a doctor who refused to give a couple an abortion referral because they wanted a boy.

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Abortion law changes eyed as Dr Mark Hobart probed
November 7, 2013 | Henrietta Cook

The Napthine government is not ruling out changes to Victoria’s abortion laws ahead of an investigation into a doctor who refused to give a couple an abortion referral because they wanted a boy.

The state government said it was interested in the outcome of the Medical Board of Victoria’s investigation into Mark Hobart, a pro-life doctor who has been accused of breaking the state’s abortion laws.

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Zoe’s Law attacks reproductive rights in NSW
by Julie Hamblin, The Age, September 18, 2013

The debate around the “Zoe’s Law” bill, currently before NSW Parliament, has shown yet again that women’s reproductive rights cannot be taken for granted in NSW. If the bill is passed, it will only be because highly emotive and ideologically driven political tactics have won out over rational policy debate.

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Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommends abortion drug RU486 to PBS
by: Adam Bennett, From: AAP, April 26, 2013

TELL US: Should the government fund RU486?

FEDERAL Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says government subsidies for the controversial abortion drug RU486 won’t lead to more terminations if it’s added to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

In what Ms Plibersek described as an important first step, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on Friday recommended Mifepristone (RU486) and another drug taken in conjunction, Misoprostol, be covered by the scheme.

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Clashes as children protest against abortion
ABC News, 10 April 2013

There have been angry scenes outside Tasmania’s Parliament as schoolchildren as young as nine protested against abortion.

More than 200 people rallied against proposed changes to the state’s laws to allow abortions up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

The crowd included young children – some in school uniform – who held placards and banners, some carried images of the foetus while one read, “face it, abortion kills a person”.

Southern Christian College principal Alan Lawson says students and parents want their views on abortion heard.

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Note to pharmacists on how not to sell the morning-after pill
20 March 2013, The Conversation, Tim Parkinson

The emergency contraceptive pill (morning-after pill) contains a hormone called levonorgestrel and can be bought without a prescription. It’s used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, but many women are uncomfortable with their interaction with pharmacists when buying this drug.

The morning-after pill is licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to be used within three days of unprotected sex, but there’s evidence that it’s effective for up to four days. Still, the sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.

It’s available as a tablet and is classified as “Pharmacist Only” medicine. The law requires pharmacists to supply such medicines only for a therapeutic need, and to personally deliver or supervise their delivery, and personally give directions for their use. To establish a therapeutic need, a pharmacist must ask the customer questions about her medical problem, medical history and the medications she’s taking.

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Abortions not performed in Bendigo for more than a year
March 17, 2013, Jill Stark, Senior writer for The Sunday Age

Bendigo’s abortion clinic has been effectively shut for more than a year because doctors are refusing to offer terminations.
Women in the state’s north-west have been denied local access to publicly funded abortions since the only clinician willing to perform the procedure quit Bendigo Health’s Choices clinic early last year. The hospital has tried to recruit a new obstetrician or gynaecologist, but each doctor has turned down the role because they are ”conscientious objectors”.

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Rifts as abortion bill clears hurdle
11 September 2008, (From Herald Sun) LawGovPol Database

ABORTION law reforms split government ranks last night as senior ministers opposed change and dozens of amendments delayed the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls shocked Parliament when he took the agonising decision to oppose the abortion package.

The Legislative Assembly voted 47 to 35 to support the Abortion Law Reform Bill, in a closer-than-expected result.

But pro-life opponents of change proposed more than 40 amendments, foreshadowing a lengthy and complicated debate.

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