Greens MP and spokesperson on women Cate Faehrmann has called on the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to clarify whether a Bill introduced by Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile to fundamentally change the law regarding the legal status of a foetus would be debated in the NSW Parliament tomorrow.
“Rumours are flying thick and fast around the NSW Parliament that the Government will allow Fred Nile to bring his Bill to a vote tomorrow, but no one can get a clear answer about what is happening,” said Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.
“Gladys Berejiklian must lift this veil of secrecy. This is an enormously controversial piece of legislation which would make fundamental changes to the law, establishing the foetus as a separate legal identity to that of the mother, and has serious ramifications for a woman’s right to choose.
“Liberal and National MPs and staffers are telling the Greens that it may be coming on for debate tomorrow but no one can provide clarity about what the Government’s intentions are.
“This dangerous legislation has been opposed by numerous legal and health bodies, such as the NSW Bar Association, the Australian Medical Association NSW, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
“This is too important a debate to be brought on in secret. Women have the right to know whether parliament is about to consider, and possibly pass, these dangerous laws.
“Only last week, the Queensland parliament took the historic step of legalising abortion but in NSW it seems the Liberals may be about to support a huge step backwards in the rights of women,” Ms Faehrmann said.
Christian Democratic Party MP and long-time anti-abortion campaigner, Fred Nile introduced the Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill on 2 March 2017 and it has remained on the NSW Parliament Legislative Council notice paper ever since.
The Bill establishes a new offence for causing serious harm to or the destruction of a child in utero despite a Department of Justice review finding that existing laws related to grievous bodily harm allow the justice system to respond appropriately.
The Bill followed a 2013 Bill which was passed in the NSW Legislative Assembly but failed to pass the NSW Legislative Council before the 2015 election.
Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 3168 or 0427 713 101