I was back in parliament last week where we were due to debate two abortion bills that were introduced by the Member for Cairns Rob Pyne and were being strongly pushed by Labor’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. The LNP made a public commitment to oppose both of these Bills after allowing Members a conscience vote, given the well-established convention for conscience votes for matters that go to the start and end of life. It was a unanimous resolution that every member of the LNP indicated that they could not, in good conscience, support either of the Bills. The Bills have now been withdrawn from the Queensland Parliament and referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for further advice and analysis.
I would like to provide some insight into my consideration of the Bills.
These Bills were unsatisfactory and the withdrawal of these Bills vindicates this position. The first Bill left the entire area of abortion unregulated and this was clearly untenable. The second Bill attempted to correct the failures of the first Bill but fell well short. It created further risk and uncertainty as shown in the Parliamentary Committee report. In fact, the second Bill sought to make it legal for a woman to secure her own abortion without medical supervision – including by the use of illicitly obtained drugs. It also created additional legal uncertainty and an ongoing legislative conflict between the Criminal Code and the Health Act.
This is often a very personal issue and people have strong views on both sides of the argument and I thank Glass House constituents for passing on their comments.
Parliament can sometimes be fun and there was plenty to smile about at the launch of the Queensland Parliamentary Friends of the AFL.
It is always good to return to the electorate and on Friday I met with representatives from the Department of Transport and Main roads to be briefed about projects in Glass House and met with constituents. I also dropped in to the new Maleny Police Station.
The weekend was taken up with Shadow Cabinet in Bundaberg.
Looking forward to spending the coming week in the beautiful Glass House electorate.