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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1751

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Health. I preface it by saying that a short time ago I received in my mail a circular which states: 'Illegal abortion - tonight at 7.30 p.m. in the Senate- '

Mr SPEAKER -Order! This matter is on the business paper and will be discussed by the House. In any event, the honourable member should not quote from the circular.

Mr JAMES - I received information that a certain film on a certain subject that is very important to the people of Australia and to this Parliament is to be shown tonight in a Senate room. Is that in order, Mr Speaker?

Mr SPEAKER - Yes, that is in order.

Mr JAMES - I ask the Minister for Health: Is the film worth seeing? Has it been shown on national television? If it is worth seeing, will it be shown before Thursday next, for certain reasons? ls it likely to be offensive to me?

Dr EVERINGHAM (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Health) - I have prepared a reply to an honourable senator which bears upon this matter, but from memory the senator's question does not refer to a film. When this matter was first drawn to my attention, I took steps to see what could be done to inform people along the lines proposed in the question which is on the notice paper and to which an answer will be supplied today. I was not able to follow up the suggestions of the honourable senator. That is why I arranged for this film from the film collection of the National Library to be shown this evening. I have not been able to see it myself but I am informed by a member of my staff that it is the least committed material that was available at the time from the Library to inform honourable members and honourable senators of some of the human issues involved in the question of abortion law. I hope that those persons who wish to look at these problems from the aspect of a young couple who are placed in a dilemma in such a situation will gain some food for thought by seeing this film. I do not think there is anything really original in it but I hope that it will be helpful. I will follow up the honourable member's suggestion about seeing whether it can be shown on television.

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