170 people rallied outside Queensland parliament on March 1 - the day two abortion law reform bills were due to be debated. Instead, the bills were withdrawn by the mover, Rob Pyne, who secured a promise by the government that the issue of abortion rights would be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission.
Introducing the rally, Anna McCormack of the Womens Abortion Rights Campaign said "we're very, very disappointed about what has happened and we're more than a little angry by recent events".
"Once again, an opportunity for abortion rights to be entrenched in this state through the decriminalisation of abortion has been abandoned."
She criticised the Liberal National Opposition for abandoning their "conscience vote" on the issue. With a genuine "conscience vote" the bills would have passed. She also criticised the governing ALP for failing to ensure their parliamentarians support the party's pro-choice policy. "It's not good enough and we want it to change," she said.
She also pointed out that "regardless of what we think of the [withdrawal of these abortion bills], we need to acknowledge the work that Rob [Pyne] has done... The reason we have got as far as we have is down to Rob Pyne."
[See also: Abortion law reform delayed in Queensland.]
Workers BushTel... replied on Permalink
Roslyn McLennan (Queensland Council of Unions secretary) said she was disappointed that Labor had ‘squibbed’ on the issue. Labor members owe their position in government to the unions. Last night at the rally the Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) came out in support of the Women’s Abortion Rights Campaign. The Nurses are the largest union in Queensland and over 90% of their members are women. Even though the QNU has lost some members over their support for abortion decriminalisation they are unlikely to change their stance. After all, it is nurses who could bear the brunt of the criminal law under a different government, a new regime! MORE at https://www.facebook.com/notes/ian-curr/labor-fails-on-abortion/753800351452039