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Crucial time for abortion debate

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Pro-life advocates have expressed hope that a controversial abortion bill passed by the Upper House of State Parliament may still be quashed by the Lower House in the new year.

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Forty Days for Life spokesman Alan Tyson said nine of the 21 Legislative Council voting members had opposed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill which allows for abortions up to full term with the consent of two doctors.

The bill is likely to be debated in the House of Assembly in February.

“It’s disappointing to see it passed by the Upper House,” Mr Tyson said. “But it’s pleasing to see that there were nine votes against the bill; it gives us some hope for its treatment in the Lower House.”

Mr Tyson said there had been some “useful amendments” put forward that were seen to have merit but were narrowly defeated.

He praised rural Catholic MPs Clare Scriven and Nicola Centofanti for doing a “very good job” of putting forward amendments.

As well as urging Catholics to contact their local MPs, who will have a conscience vote in the Lower House, Mr Tyson said it was important to continue to pray for God’s help.

More than 50 SA doctors have written to the Australian Medical Association to criticise the abortion reforms, including the requirement for conscientious objectors to refer women to a doctor prepared to perform the procedure.

“In this way, such a doctor is required to be an accessory to the killing of a child,” the letter says.

The doctors also stated their opposition to late-term abortions and to making abortion by medication more accessible to women in regional and remote areas, saying these women are at greater risk of complications.

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