Thursday, August 17, 2006

Parties split over abortion advice

A MOVE to force pregnancy counsellors to reveal their views on abortion in advertisements has split both the Labor and Liberal parties. The Senate community affairs committee yesterday rejected the proposal as unfair, despite claims from pro-choice groups that pro-life counsellors deliberately misled pregnant women by refusing to offer abortion as an option. The majority of the six-member committee also predicted that requiring transparency in advertising rules would lead to more abortions. And committee members abandoned party solidarity, turning the issue into a de facto conscience vote on abortion. The committee examined a private member's bill proposed by Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja that would have required counsellors to indicate in advertising whether they were prepared to direct or refer clients to abortion services.

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