Australia Will Likely Legalize Abortion Drug RU 486 Pro-Life Advocates Say

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Will Likely Legalize Abortion Drug RU 486 Pro-Life Advocates Say Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 6, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — Despite a highly effective campaign to oppose legalizing of the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, Australia pro-life advocates concede the nation’s parliament would likely give it the green light this week.

Pro-life groups generated 75,000 letters to members of parliament, who received only a couple hundred letters from Australia citizens backing making the legal the drug that has killed eight women internationally.

But leading lobbyists from Catholic groups told the Herald Sun newspaper they expected MPs and senators to sign off on legislation transferring authority for RU 486 from pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbot to a regulatory agency that is expected to legalize it.

The newspaper did not name the lobbyist or quote them in its story.

The Australian Senate is expected to vote on Thursday after it receives a report from the committee that has been looking into legalization.

Some pro-life advocates are holding out hope that the vote can be delayed.

Women’s Forum Australia said lawmakers need more than one day to consider the lengthy investigative report on the abortion drug — especially after so many groups have testified to the committee on the issue.

"What’s the point of the exercise? What’s the point of doing any of this unless people actually get the time to read the report," WFA director Melinda Tankard Reist told the newspaper.

Family First Victorian senator Steve Fielding, who opposes legalizing the dangerous abortion drug, also told the newspaper the vote should be put off.

"Politicians should have at least a week to consider the report since this is a subject of such intense national debate," he said.

"What a joke that our elected leaders have less than one day to read and consider the committee’s report," he added.