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RU-486: Abbott fails as Health Minister.



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Kerry Nettle

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for NSW

media release

RU-486: Abbott fails as Health Minister

16.11.05

Greens Health spokesperson Senator Kerry Nettle said today that Tony Abbott had failed as Health Minister by prioritising his own anti-abortion views above his responsibility as Health Minster to ensure that all women

in Australia have access to the full range of reproductive health services.

"Mr Abbott's decision to deny Australian women access to RU486 is a dereliction of his duty especially to women in rural and regional Australia," said Senator Nettle.

"The AMA has called the Health Department's research "skewed", a leading obstetrician has called it "alarmist", a Liberal doctor backbencher is calling it "totally and absolutely ridiculous" and even Dr Andrew Childs who contributed to the Health Department's advice stated he has never said the drug should not be used.

"Mr Abbott is denying women in rural and regional Australia access to this drug because he claims health services in the bush are not up to scratch. Rather than committing to ensuring that women in rural and regional Australia can access

then same health services as their city counterparts, the Health Minister is further denying women in rural and regional areas access to this drug.

"Mr Abbott's position is consistent with the religious right's anti-choice scare campaign which has been trying to drum up fear of the drug based on selective and inaccurate usage of available data.

"The Greens will continue to campaign to ensure that Mr Abbott no longer has the ability to deny women access to this drug by transferring this decision making ability to the Therapeutic Goods Administration where similar decisions are made," concluded Senator Nettle.

More Information: Kristian Bolwell (02) 96902038 // 0411638320