Queensland, Australia Parliament OKs Amendment to Say Abortion Drug Legal
by Steven Ertelt
September 3, 2009
Brisbane, Australia (LifeNews.com) — The parliament in Queensland, Australia has approved an amendment to its criminal code saying the dangerous abortion drug Ru 486 is legal. The drug has killed more than 13 women worldwide and injured 1,300 in the United States alone according to government figures from a few years ago.
Although the Australian government has allowed the sales of the mifepristone abortion drug, because Queensland still has laws on the books banning abortions, abortion practitioners were concerned about being prosecuted for distributing the drug.
They called on the state parliament to approve changes to the laws making it clear the drug can be given to women without facing prosecution.
Premier Anna Bligh told MPs that the amendments merely make it clear that drug-induced abortions cane be done in Queensland along with surgical abortions, with also pose numerous medical and mental health risks for women.
The opposition had been concerned it was a veiled attempt to decriminalize abortion in Queensland, but enough changes were made to satisfy members of the minority party.
According to Sky News, Deputy Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg commended Attorney-General Cameron Dick for taking into consideration the opposition’s concerns.
"I believe there was an abundance of caution principle that needed to be applied in this particular case," Springborg told parliament before the amendments passed. "To make sure that no-one could misinterpret there was a difference between a medical procedure and a surgical procedure and that certainly has put that particular matter beyond doubt."
Independent MP for Gladstone Liz Cunningham was the only dissenter when the vote came down. Cunningham said she believed the laws would lead to more abortions being performed in Queensland.
Independent Dorothy Pratt expressed concern that abortion was becoming a form of contraception but supported the Bill.
The debate over changing the law came to a head in recent days as women seeking drug-induced abortions in hospitals were sent to other Australian states.
Public hospitals in Rockhampton and Mackay had reportedly joined Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in suspending abortions.
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