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Labor and the Opposition should pledge to resist Madigan's pro-life move

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 27 Feb 2013

The Australian Greens are calling on both Labor and the Opposition to voice their support for women's right to choose and pledge to resist any attempts by DLP Senator John Madigan to wind back access to safe and confidential reproductive health services, including abortion services.

"Senator Madigan has his eye on securing the balance of power in the next government and is laying the ground work for pro-life deals which place women's rights in jeopardy," Australian Greens spokesperson for women Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"Focusing on abortion for gender selection purposes is a furphy being used as a wedge to start winding back women's rights.

"Over 80 per cent of Australians support a woman's right to choose an abortion and these figures should be grist to the mill in determining the direction of the major parties on this issue.

"In his speech to the Sydney Institute last week Senator Madigan was correct in underlining the reluctance of federal politicians to interfere with women's right to a safe and lawful abortion.

"If Prime Minister Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott are true to their word of being friends of women they should take a public stand against Senator Madigan's meddling," Senator Rhiannon said.

Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, said that he has not heard of an abortion taking place in Australia on the basis of gender selection.

"This is not the USA - the issue of a woman's right to choose was settled in Australia decades ago.

"This is why the Greens are critical. Without a strong Greens voice in the Senate, it would be Senator Madigan holding the critical balance of power vote on important issues like this," Senator di Natale said.


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