Independent senator, John Madigan, is introducing an amendment to the law giving access to Medicare (i.e. universal health cover) so that gender selective abortions cannot be reimbursed.
In support of this bill, liberal senator, Cory Bernardi recognised the fact that there is very little proof, if indeed any, of the existence of this type of abortion in Australia. However, the Senate must be prepared to discuss individual and moral issues relating to this matter. He believes that it is “unacceptable” for public money to be used to finance what would be tantamount to selective abortion based on gender discrimination. To develop discussions, he has based his argument on the Convention and the elimination of all forms of discrimination regarding women.
“Are we ready to enforce respect for women’s rights? Are we ready to grasp all of the aspects of gender discrimination?”, he demanded before the entire Senate. And to allow an abortion based on the child’s gender is the “most selfish decision anyone could make”.
Conversely, critics of this amendment fear that it will make it more difficult to access abortion.
The Guardian (Bridie Jabour) 25/09/2014