QUEENSLAND’S politicians could debate the so-called Pyne Abortion Bills within days following a surprise parliamentary move.
In a late morning manoeuvre, Member for Cairns Rob Pyne put forward a procedural motion to have his two Abortion Bills debated together, rather than separately.
Labor Government members voted in support, opposition LNP members voted against, and with minor party and independent votes even, the Speaker was left to cast the deciding vote to carry the motion.
It means there is a chance the abortion debate could take place this week – the final week of the 2016 parliamentary sittings.
“It has made it probable that these laws will now pass,” Member for Cleveland, Dr Mark Robinson, who stands staunchly against abortion, said.
He’s accused Labor and Mr Pyne of collaborating to push the abortion bills on Queenslanders.
“The government is using Rob Pyne and between them they are using dirty tactics to try and reform an area that should be much more carefully considered, rather than sneaky political tactics,” Dr Robinson said.
Today Labor MPs voted FOR a motion that aids the passage of bad Abortion laws. AGAINST 41 LNP + 2 KAP : FOR 41 ALP + 2 Indeps + Speaker. https://t.co/6iYyO7JPT1
— Mark Robinson MP (@MarkRobinsonMP) November 29, 2016
— Wendy Francis (@wendyjoyfrancis) November 29, 2016
The first of the two Pyne Private Member’s Bills aims to decriminalise abortion and the second sets abortion procedural guidelines, the establishment of 50m “safe zones” and gestational limits.
A parliamentary committee has recommended the first bill not be passed.
A committee report on the second bill is not due to be tabled in the House until February 17.
Dr Robinson said the convention was that Private Members Bill should then sit for another three months – but he doubts that will now happen.
“Technically once the report from the second Bill is completed and handed in, the legislation can be debated from that moment onwards,” he said.
“The question is how far forward might they bring the debate. There is even some thought they might try it this Thursday.
“There is a possibility that could happen. I think it would be super sneaky and dirty – but that wouldn’t surprise me.”
Pro Life campaigners, including Australian Christian Lobby’s state director, Wendy Francis have taken to social media to condemn the Queensland parliamentary motion.
“Today Rob Pyne and Queensland Labor took Queensland a step closer towards introducing Australia’s worst abortion laws,” she tweeted.
Earlier this year, The Catholic Leader contacted all Queensland Members of Parliament if they supported Mr Pyne’s proposed Abortion Bill and if there should be gestational restrictions and reported their responses.
More than 17,000 people have signed a Queensland parliamentary petition opposing any changes to the state’s abortion laws following the proposal of the second Bill.
Qld parl just voted to combine Pyne’s 2 bills for debate. If passed, abortion, for any reason, any time, of healthy babies is legal #qldpol
— Family Association (@FamilyAssn) November 29, 2016
— Abortion Rethink (@AbortionRethink) November 29, 2016