Australia Senate Committee Hears Testimony on Legalizing Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Senate Committee Hears Testimony on Legalizing Abortion Drug Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 15, 2005

Canberra, Australia ( — An Australian Senate committee held a hearing Wednesday on whether or not to legalize the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. Despite the deaths of women from the drug in several countries, abortion advocates insisted it is safe – -safer even than aspirin.

Christine Tippett of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ told members of the committee the drug is safe and that its benefits outweigh any problems associated with it.

According to a Courier Mail report, the Australian Medical Association and Rural Doctors Association of Australia said strict guidelines would need to be put in place if the drug is legalized.

The Senate is holding hearings on a bill that would transfer the decision for legalizing the abortion drug from pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbott to the Therapeutic Drugs Administration. A vote will take place next year on that and a companion bill making the abortion drug legal.

Catholic Health CEO, Francis Sullivan, who represents private Catholic hospitals, told the committee the Health Minister, Tony Abbott, should retain the right to determine if the drug should be allowed.

"It is a judgment on what is socially acceptable, not just on what is technically feasible," he told the committee, according to a Herald Sun news report.

"Recent information from the US Food and Drug Administration documents the incidence of 676 adverse events, ranging from minor symptoms through to reactions requiring hospitalization and even the recording of deaths," he added.

Of the 12 senators at yesterday’s hearing, six are pro-life — Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce, fellow Nationals Ron Boswell and Julian McGauran, Family First’s Steve Fielding, Labor’s Helen Polley and Liberal Gary Humphries.

Three other committee members — Democrats leader Lyn Allison, the Nationals’ Fiona Nash and Labor’s Claire Moore are sponsoring the bill in question.

The hearings will continue today and tomorrow.