The old parties joined forces today to pass a misleading Senate motion pushed by Senator John Madigan against gender-selective abortion. The Australian Greens opposed the motion.
"The Australian Greens condemn sex-selective abortion where it does occur and we stand squarely behind the recommendations from the UN Conferences at Cairo and Beijing but we will not support a motion that is more about pushing Senator Madigan's anti-abortion barrow than addressing women's inequality", said Greens womens spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
"It is a shame that the Labor party could not stand up to this Trojan horse motion.
"Senator Madigan's motion was misleading in that it stated that various UN agencies have called for 'urgent steps' to address gender-biased sex selection. There has been no such call.
"The international call is for urgent action on the root causes of preferencing male children over daughters, including violence against women, gender inequality and advancing women's human rights.
"Picking out the one issue of sex-selection abortion for urgent attention is an unhelpful distraction from getting on with a more comprehensive program that tackles the root causes of women's inequality.
"Australia has a strong reputation for tackling gender-based violence and practices that result in sex-selective abortion.
"To suggest that gender-selective abortion occurs in Australia is not supported by evidence and is the latest tactic of those dedicated to restricting women's right to access full sexual and reproductive health services including abortion", said Senator Rhiannon.