For his usual unfathomable reasons Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has launched himself into the debate over RU486, a medicine which can be used for non-surgical abortions.
In a cross-party private members’ bill, five female senators are seeking to have control of RU486 taken from the Health Minister’s hands and given to the Theraputic Goods Administration.
The committee examining the bill, chaired by our very own Senator Gary Humphries, is due to report back late this afternoon. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow and the House of Representatives next week sometime.
Mr Stanhope says control of the drug should be given to the TGA because they are a “more appropriate vehicle for determining the safety” of it.
â€œ[Heath Minister] Mr Abbott piously reminds Australians that the Federal Parliament decided in 1996 that decisions about abortion drugs were too important to be left in the hands of â€˜unelected, unaccountable officialsâ€™,” Mr Stanhope said. “He now argues that he should retain his ministerial discretion to approve or reject RU486 because he, in contrast to the staff of the TGA, is answerable to the voters.
â€œHe apparently believes that the Australian voters who happen to live in the 56 square kilometres that make up his federal electorate of Warringah should be the arbiters on this issue.”
The Chief Minister also has quite a rant about how the issue at hand here is women’s safety and that Tony Abbott is not in a better position that the TGA to determine what is better for women’s safety.