Abortion in the news - 2005
The¬†re-election of the Howard Liberal government in the 2004 federal election, giving them a¬†majority in the Senate from July 2005,¬†brought the topic of abortion into the headlines.
Whilst some MPs in the Liberal and National Parties were concerned about abortion and wanted to legislate to reduce abortions and remove Medicare payments, it is important to note that¬†each MP is given a conscience vote on this issue. Not¬†all MPs in the Coalition oppose abortion.
Some people thought that this may be a time for the federal government to address the matter of abortion.
However, generally it is the states that have control over the matter of abortion. The federal government is responsible for the use of Medicare payments for abortion (currently covered up to 26 weeks of pregnancy).
The matter of the importation of the abortion drug RU 486 is also a matter of federal responsibility.
During 2005 Hon Tony Abbott made made several statements about the high number of abortions and¬†the consequences of abortion. Senator Ron Boswell also spoke on the issue - see below.
During the time of the Howard government, several matters connected to the abortion issue were raised.
However, with the¬†defeat of the Howard government in November 2007, the prospect of legislating to restrict abortion at the federal level has greatly diminished.
That is because the Labor Party's platform (Chapter 6, Section 44,¬†page 69) affirms that¬†women have a right to have an abortion.
Matters raised during the Howard Liberal/Coalition government
The matter of the importation of the abortion drug RU 486 was raised in 2006. It was not brought up by the government.
Prior to that time, the drug could only be imported with the permission of the Health Minister - in effect this meant it was not imported for abortions.
Senator Guy Barnett (Liberal, Tasmania) introduced a private Senator's Bill to stop the payment of Medicare refunds for late term abortions. The senate sent this Bill to an Inquiry - for more details click here.
Statements by MPs
Hon Tony Abbott
On 16 March, Mr Abbott spoke about abortion in an address to the Adelaide University Democratic Club, concluding that "as a measure of the moral health of our society, 100,000 terminated babies is a statistic that offers no comfort at all" (The Australian, 17/3/04). ..."
Senator Ron Boswell
Salt Shakers' articles...
Since abortion was in the¬†news in 2005,¬†Salt Shakers ran a three-part series of articles byAndrew Lansdown in our monthly journal.
Arguments against abortion