A SAD DAY FOR NSW
Written on the 26 September 2019 by Kevin Conolly
"The passage of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 represents a sad occasion for the state of New South Wales," said Kevin Conolly, Member for Riverstone today.
"Decades after the death sentence was completely expunged from the statute books of this state, it is now back in legislation passed by this Parliament.
"The 'crime' committed by those whose death has now been legally sanctioned is merely the 'crime' of being unwanted.
"Despite my grave disappointment at the retrograde step taken by the Parliament in the passage of this bill into law today, I take comfort from the improvements made to it over the last couple of weeks.
While these amendments are not perfect, they represent meaningful improvements to what began as a very bad bill.
I am disappointed that some other sensible amendments did not win support.
The process by which this legislation began its passage through the parliament was appallingly deficient, denying stakeholders the opportunity to provide expert input and denying residents of NSW the opportunity to engage with their local MPs before those members were required to vote on it. These defects were compounded by the decision to allow only five days for an upper house inquiry.
This failure of process has been redressed to some degree by the more serious deliberation over the last three weeks undertaken by the upper house in relation to amendments. At last time was allowed for real attention to the serious implications of the bill and meaningful changes were made to some of its worst features.
The improvement to both process and outcomes in this final phase has enabled me to remain a member of the Government.
Some media reports suggested that the bill was passed into law by the Legislative Assembly "on the voices", with the possible implication that this process allowed members to avoid being seen to vote one way or the other.
As far as I am aware all members of the Assembly supported the amendments, so a division of the House on the matter was not required.
Author: Kevin Conolly
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