Abortion - Tammy Franks

FILIBUSTERING SHOULD NOT DELAY ABORTION SAFE ACCESS ZONES AGAIN – PREGNANT WOMEN & GIRLS DESERVE PROTECTION FROM PROTESTERS

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Background:

Abortion ‘Safe Access Zones’ provide a buffer against protesters of 150m outside medical services for patients and providers of abortion health care.

The matter of Safe Access Zones (SAZ) was first introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks in December 2018. It was considered by the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) in their report on Abortion Law Reform which was released October 2019. SALRI supported both abortion law reform and Safe Access Zones in that comprehensive report. A subsequent Bill for abortion Safe Access Zones was put forward by Ms. Franks in September 2019 and passed the Upper House of State Parliament in November last year. Labor’s Nat Cook MP then took carriage of it in the Lower House. However, unlike the Upper House the Lower House of SA Parliament significantly restricts the time afforded to ‘private members business’ in the parliamentary sitting schedule. That Bill has now languished in the Lower House unable to reach a vote since September 2019.

Today a new version of that Bill (again co-sponsored by Nat Cook MP and Tammy Franks MLC) has been deferred yet again, this time to July 22, 2020.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“Today we saw yet more shameless time-wasting on this issue. Telling stories about GM crops and getting in the state admin building lifts with previous Premiers had little to do with the lives and concerns of women and girls facing difficult health decisions who are deserving of care, compassion and medical treatment – not political game playing.

“For no good reason today other than the clock ran out for the arbitrarily allocated time given this debate, women seeking abortion care and workers providing that care will now continue to be harassed, threatened, and intimidated in our state with anti-abortion protest activity that is now banned in almost all other parts of Australia*

“A bunch of blokes in the Parliament’s Lower House just talked down the clock debating women’s abortion health care today. Again.

“Some did so because they knew the debate would delay the Bill from actually getting to a vote if they did. Filibustering on these vital matters should not reward minorities of opinion. If they had the numbers, we know they’d allow the vote. But they don’t so they defy democracy instead.

“I’m calling on these MPs in the Lower House to do their damn job. Allow a vote on this legislation even if you don’t like the outcome.”

Media Contact: Tammy Franks – 0457 549 938

*except WA who are currently progressing this issue