Australia Won’t Vote on Allowing RU 486 Abortion Drug This Year

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 6, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Won’t Vote on Allowing RU 486 Abortion Drug This Year Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 6, 2005

Canberra, Australia ( — Prime Minister John Howard made it official yesterday in saying that the Australian parliament will not vote on any measure to repeal the nation’s ban on the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug until next year. The decision enraged abortion advocates.

Howard said that, during next year’s session of parliament, MPs will have the opportunity to vote on two bills.

One would take the decision for allowing the abortion drug from Health Minister Tony Abbott and put it in the hands of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The other would be the vote on whether to allow sales of the abortion pills.

Howard said the vote on the first bill would be a party-line vote, but MPs would be allowed a conscience vote on the issue of selling the dangerous abortion drug.

Some Coalition women joined Democrats in an attempt to force a vote this week, but Howard had said earlier he didn’t want a vote on the issue until next year.

Nationals Senator Fiona Nash said she would be the one to introduce the bill next year to strip Abbott, who is pro-life, of the decision-making power on allowing the abortion drug. Nash revealed she would seek bipartisan support for the move.

Her bill will be sponsored by Democrats leader Lyn Allison and Labor senator Claire Moore.

But Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce says he opposes any effort to allow sales of the drugs, which have killed women in the United States, Canada, Sweden, France and elsewhere.

Senator Joyce told parliament that abortion was abhorrent state-sanctioned killing of innocent human beings.

"(They) are innocent of any crime yet we justify our right to kill them," he said.

"Rights should not be diminished by a person’s cognizance of those rights," he said. "Why is that the person unborn can destroyed and it is not only sanctioned by but paid for by the state."

Senator Joyce also warned that the pill could be extremely dangerous for the women who used it.