Recently I posted on the discrimination inherent within proposed Victorian Legislation relating to late-term abortions.
Amid growing pressure from Housing Minister Candy Broad, Women’s Affairs Minister Mary Delahunty, the Carlton branch of the ALP, the ALP women’s policy committee and Labor women’s group Emily’s List and Suki Lombard, Bronwen Pike has backed down and dropped the cooling-off period from her proposal.
The new proposal retains a mandatory consultation requirement. The consultation must be,
“Independent of the termination provider, could identify the need for formal counselling, but also other services such as domestic violence, housing, interpreting and other social support services the Government provides. Post termination support could also be included.”
Ongoing counselling will not be compulsory.
“Many women will not need further counselling or further supports (and) there will be no compulsion to attend counselling.”
Whilst I am pleased that the inherent discrimination has been removed from this paternalistic policy proposal, I am concerned that access to free and safe abortion is still not the right of every woman in Australia.
Image of Filmmakers and pals: Jennifer Baumgardner (left) and Gillian Aldrich from here
Bronwen Pike defends her reasoning for introducing the proposed legislation and still misses that it discriminates only on the basis of the mental health status of a woman seeking a late-term abortion.