The Advertiser – SA abortion laws: Liberal’s Nicola Centofanti and Labor’s Clare Scriven join forces to defeat Bill

The Advertiser – SA abortion laws: Liberal’s Nicola Centofanti and Labor’s Clare Scriven join forces to defeat Bill

12 November 2020

Gabriel Polychronis | The Advertiser

Two members of South Australia’s Upper House from opposing political parties have joined forces in an attempt to strike down a controversial plan to change the state’s abortion laws.

Meanwhile, an outspoken SA Senator has doubled down on claims that the Bill is “brutal” in a scathing speech delivered in Canberra.

Last night, laws that ban anti-abortion campaigners from protesting near abortion clinics passed South Australia’s Upper House.

Speeches on the Termination of Pregnancy Bill were also due to be given on Wednesday, but were rescheduled to Thursday because some members of SA’s Legislative Council argued it was “disrespectful” to hold such debates on Remembrance Day.

Liberal MLC Dr Nicola Centofanti and Labor MLC Clare Scriven said they received more than 6000 letters from residents opposed to the changes, compared with 362 in support.

The Government introduced the Bill, which seeks to decriminalise abortion and remove certain barriers. It would allow terminations to be performed on women less than 22 weeks and six days’ pregnant with the approval of just one doctor, instead of two.

Dr Centofanti said her office was “inundated” with letters from residents across SA, who were outraged by the Bill.

“In contrast, we have received very little correspondence in support of the abortion to birth legislation,” she told The Advertiser.

Ms Scriven said people were “dismayed that the Bill is being described as merely moving abortion into a healthcare Act”.

Crossbencher Frank Pangallo, of SA-BEST, said he would be opposing most aspects of the Bill.

“I would commend Attorney-General Vickie Chapman for being a reformist, but I can’t agree with her on this one,” he said.

Human services minister Michelle Lensink, who introduced the Bill, and the Greens’ Tammy Franks remain two of the most prominent supporters of the changes.

Accelerating the heated debate was Liberal Senator Alex Antic, who continued to voice his concerns, despite previously being slammed by state Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“I’ve received many emails and telephone calls from concerned South Australians who have rightly looked beyond the simple rhetoric of decriminalisation,” he said.

“South Australians who can see through the cautious use of language and understand that what parliament in SA is being asked to endorse is a brutal bill, which will allow abortions up until the day of birth.”

He recently wrote to all state Liberal MPs and MLCs to vote against the Bill, before being slammed by Ms Chapman in a sledge-filled letter.

Read the original article here.


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