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Thursday, 8 September 2005
Page: 9

Senator JOYCE (10:02 AM) —I have heard a very passionate speech, and I acknowledge a lot of what has just been said. However, this motion has just been circulated, and there is another member in this chamber—the Family First member—who I am sure would have loved to have been here at the start, had this been circulated beforehand. We have at first blush seen that this could be dealing with abortion on demand, and, as such, it crosses a fundamental moral principle that I hold. Maybe no-one else in this chamber does hold it, but I hold it and I feel, absolutely first and foremost, that you should be able to stand behind something that you believe in.

If this is just dealing with AIDS and issues such as that, we will let it go forward—it is a good, moral and just motion—but if it is dealing with and touches on abortion on demand then we are dealing with the rights of other human beings; we are dealing with people who do not have a choice about whether or not they live. We always have to be mindful of those who do not have a voice. The life of a person in this world is not a bell curve. You do not start with no rights, attain all rights at about the age of 34 and then have those rights slowly diminish until you die. Your rights are a constant, and we must believe in the absolutely immutable right of a person to go through this life without having that taken away from them.

If this motion is in code, if this has been deceptive, if this actually talks about abortion on demand yet does not have the capacity, fortitude or strength to say so, then we must knock it out. If you really believe in abortion on demand, then say so. Say, ‘This is a motion about abortion on demand.’ If it has nothing to do with and no relation to abortion on demand, then say so. Stand up in this chamber and say, ‘This has absolutely nothing to do with abortion on demand.’ But you will not say that, and the reason you will not say that is because it does, and, as it does, The Nationals—Ron Boswell and I—will be opposing this. I do not know who will come across to help us out. I do not know. It is going to be an interesting time in this chamber. It is the most important thing in this chamber today. It is more important than Telstra or anything else, and I will be standing up in support of families and the families that are not yet born. So help me, that is where I will be.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Before I give Senator Stott Despoja the call, I remind people involved in the debate that the debate is about a suspension of standing orders to give precedence to the motion. I make that clear so that, when we finally get to a determination of the debate that is currently before the chair, people are under no illusion as to what is being debated.