Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja proposed a private member’s bill to put an end to government sponsored deceptive anti-choice pressure groups operating ‘crisis pregnancy counselling’ centres. Last week, ACT Federal Senator Gary Humphries used his casting vote to veto Stott-Despoja’s bill.
The ACT Liberal Party took a $30,000 sum donation in 2004 from the ACT Right To Life Association, which receives $300,000 per year in federal government funding. The government provides no funding for counselling services which include referral to pregnancy termination clinics as part of their available alternatives.
Since the fake pregnancy counselling outfits don’t charge for their ‘services,’ they are exempt from Australian truth in advertising laws. Women calling these outfits are told all manner of falsehoods by these alleged counsellors, like ‘abortion causes breast cancer and infertility.’ Women inquiring of these fraudulent counsellors about pregnancy termination have even been told they are “sinners” and “murderers.”
The SMH reports:
A spokesman for Senator Humphries said it was common for many groups to donate to political parties.
“I can assure you he is not swayed by donations, and never has been in 17 years in public life,” he said.
Yeah, sure, OK.
I’d like to own a senator (or two). Maybe I can get a gubmint grant to give away false and misleading information to people in crisis for the necessary dosh to get a senator in my pocket.
Let’s say I believe that chocolate bars cure cancer. If I don’t charge for the advice, I can give away chockie bars to all the poor cancer sufferers who haven’t had any luck with chemotherapy.
Sounds like a pretty good gig if you can get it.
UPDATE: Mick McNeill comments:
The Fairfax article on which this item is based wrongly claims that Senator Humphries received funding from Right to Life during the 2004 Federal election campaign.
The $30,000 referred to was directed to Liberal candidates contesting the 2004 ACT Legislative Assembly election. Senator Humphries did not receive any of this money.
Senator Humphries has asked Fairfax to issue a retraction, and respectfully asks that you remove elements of this web-site which are misleading (e.g. your alteration to his web-page).
Office of Gary Humphries
Senator for the ACT
I’ve removed an illustration based upon the banner of Humphries’ website. I’ll append a retraction should Fairfax print one.
I don’t see how Humphries can claim that he’s not a beneficiary of donations to the ACT Liberal Party, regardless of source. How the Liberals slush their donations around in-house isn’t a matter of public concern; if the Liberal Party took a donation from ACT RTL, I don’t see how it’s unfair or inaccurate to say that Humphries is sponsored by ACT RTL.
MORE: The Sun-Herald has printed a retraction of the original story:
What this apology does is indicate that Fairfax could not finish following the money trail directly from ACT RTL to Humphries.
What this apology does not do is explain why there is a record of ten $3000 donations from ACT RTL to 10 ACT Liberal Party candidates, who have not properly declared the donations.
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