In a week full of lows when it comes to parliamentary process, the SA Parliament today reached a new one by denying a vote Safe Access Zones in the lower house.
The following quotes are attributable to Ms. Franks:
“SA is one of only two states in the nation that has not moved to establish safe access zones to protect patients and health care workers from abortion protest.
“The Health Care (Health Access Zones) Amendment Bill that passed the upper house over a month ago failed to even be debated this morning while various MPs waxed lyrical about car parks. Many MPs have stated they wanted to support it but sadly were not given the opportunity to vote.
“This means that despite the decriminalisation of abortion being high on the 2020 parliamentary agenda, over the next few months women will continue to be forced to run a gauntlet of protesters when seeking medical care in our state.
“The failure of parliament to decide this today means that abortion health care workers will continue to be subject to harassment and nuisance from protestors to their work for many months to come. Health care workers and their patients deserved better from this parliament, particularly as debate heats up over summer.
“Today we as state parliamentarians collectively failed to progress this important measure to provide that much needed safety and security to patients and health care workers.
“Despite a packed gallery hopeful to see progress today, car park conversations took precedence over patient care. Most of us now head off on holiday and I dearly hope there are some new year’s resolutions from my colleagues to do so much better than we saw today.