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Monday, 12 November 2018
Page: 7759

Senator WATERS (Queensland) (15:59): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WATERS: Senator O'Sullivan needs to get his hands and his rosaries off my ovaries and those of the 10,000 Queensland women who have an abortion every year, 10,000 women who have the right to make a decision about their own bodies without the opinion of Senator O'Sullivan getting in their way.

Senator O'Sullivan has never shared and will never share the experience of any of those women. He will never be faced with running a gauntlet of people calling him a murderer because he's made a decision about his own body. Do not stand there in judgement of women when you will never share their experiences and never understand their choices. A woman's body is her own and no man or anyone else in this building or anywhere else has any right to dictate what she does with it. You should be ashamed of yourself, seeking respect for a group of people trying to further oppress women and control their bodies.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Abetz on a point of order?

Senator Abetz: Reference to a person's religious beliefs in speeches in this chamber have been, quite rightly, called out as being inappropriate. I think that the reference to Senator O'Sullivan's religion in relation to the rosary is such a matter that should be, and deserves and needs to be, withdrawn.

Senator WATERS: On the point of order: if that's the case then the whole motion shouldn't be proceeded with.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: On the point of order, I do remind senators that it is not appropriate to refer to the religious beliefs of any senator in this place. I would ask you to withdraw the comments, Senator Waters, without repeating them.

Senator WATERS: Deputy President, is Senator O'Sullivan going to withdraw his motion?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Waters, I am applying the standing orders. I've simply asked you to withdraw the comments you made in relation to religion. I ask that you do that.

Senator WATERS: I withdraw only the remark to Senator O'Sullivan's rosary. I would like the rest of the statement to remain on the record.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Waters! Please resume your seat. It has been the practice for senators not to repeat the offence; it just creates further division. I would remind you just to withdraw when you stand in future. Thank you.