by Steven Ertelt
February 9, 2006
Canberra, Australia (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in Australia on Thursday lost the first of two battles to stop legislation that would lead to legalizing the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has killed eight women worldwide and injured more than 850 women in the United States alone.
"Many Senators acknowledged the thousands of letters they received against the Bill but sadly the majority chose to disregard this outpouring of community concern over the deadly abortion drug," Emily O’Connor of Australia Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
With the Senate signing off on the bill, the battle now moves to the House of Representatives, where the vote will be closer and Prime Minister John Howard is expected to vote against the measure.
The vote could take place as early as Monday.
O’Connor’s group is calling on pro-life Australians to urge friends, family and church members to contact MPs in the House and urge a no vote on the bill.
Pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbot, who originally disapproved of using the abortion drug in Australia, said he was disappointed by the 45-28 Senate vote in favor of the measure.
"I am disappointed with the vote," Abbott said. "The Senate has effectively voted no confidence in ministers and the parliament on this issue."
He dismissed speculation he would step down as Health Minister if the House voted to approve the bill, which would remove the decision-making process about the drug from him and give it to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Nationals senator Ron Boswell warned MPs who voted for the bill that Australians will hold them accountable in the next elections and pro-life senator Barnaby Joyce said those backing the bill would be to blame when a woman dies from using it.
TAKE ACTION: If you live in Australia, contact the House at 02 6277 7111 and ask for your elected official. Urge strong opposition to the RU 486 bill.