Fred Nile

Chanting “Not the church, not the state, women will decide our fate”,  supporters of women’s right to choose gathered outside NSW parliament on November 15 to oppose conservative MLC Fred Nile’s third attempt to introduce a foetal personhood bill in the Legislative Assembly.

News that NSW MLC Fred Nile is using the last sitting weeks of state parliament before the March 2019 election to push his “Zoe’s law” bill — which would give foetuses legal rights — is galvanising those supporting choice.

The misogynist Fred Nile has opportunistically seized the moment — provided by Tanya Davies, the new NSW “pro-life” minister for women — to reintroduce a bill to give foetuses legal rights.

Nile, a NSW MLC, introduced the Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2017 on March 9. The wording is the same as his last attempt.

Nile first tried to push his anti-choice law in 2010. He managed to get it through the Legislative Assembly in 2013 (63 votes to 26) with Davies’ support. 

Feminists and their supporters have campaigned for decades to remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act and treat the procedure as a health issue. For decades, they have been told “now is not the right time”. Finally, NSW MLC Mehreen Faruqi has moved a repeal Bill.
NSW Christian Democrat MLC Fred Nile intends to reintroduce a bill to give personhood rights to foetuses. He has already had several attempts — the last one failing a year ago. On November 9, Nile sent NSW Legislative Council members notice of his new Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2015. The Crimes Act currently recognises grievous bodily harm to a pregnant woman if her foetus dies as a result of assault or violence committed against her. The maximum sentence is 25 years’ jail.
The Baird Coalition government is rushing its legislation for the privatisation of NSW power assets through the Legislative Assembly, without waiting for the report of the Legislative Council’s inquiry into the sell-off, due on June 2. The move to fast track the bill before the inquiry, chaired by Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile, releases its report, exposes the inquiry as a sham, according to Greens NSW MLC John Kaye. Premier Mike Baird has ridden roughshod over the process and denied the public a proper investigation into the long-term impacts of the sale.
NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is likely to be called before the parliamentary inquiry into the state government's proposed privatisation of the "poles and wires" of the state's electricity industry in May. Baird will be questioned over allegations of government tampering with an expert report on the planned leasing of the power industry before the recent March state election.
NSW Christian Democrat Senator and right-wing Christian fundamentalist Fred Nile, who has built a career as a “moral crusader”, was caught in a NSW parliamentary audit that revealed his parliamentary computer had been used to access pornographic sites. The September 2 Daily Telegraph said: “An audit of parliamentary computers conducted two months ago identified the Christian Democrat MP as one of the biggest viewers of adult content … up to 200,000 suspect hits have been recorded under Mr Nile's log-on, sources said.”
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