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Women and Senate winners as RU486 passes.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria Australian Democrats spokesperson for Health and Ageing

Dated: 13 February 2006 Press Release Number: mtkrxspf Portfolio: Health and Ageing

Women and Senate Winners as RU486 Passes

Australian women and their families are the winners of this afternoons Senate vote to remove the Health Ministers veto over RU486. Weve passed the first important stage in giving the Therapeutic Goods Administration not only the power to assess RU486, but the authority to release it under medical supervision, Senator Allison said. Its also a win for the Senate, not only as a House of review but of initiative. Its a credit to politicians in the Senate that members listened not only to their conscience but also to the voice of the majority of Australians. They have recognised that the medical profession and women themselves know more about reproductive health than Tony Abbott. I am particularly proud to have co-sponsored this bill with my fellow Senators Fiona Nash, Judith Treoth and Claire Moore. I believe its a unique piece of Australian political history that a Senate based, cross-party bill sponsored by women has passed. Its a great result for women politicians and evidence that reason, empathy and compassion are the foundations of political principle. While Im happy with this result, Im certainly not crowing about it. The anti-abortion lobby have been targeting Lower House representatives since before Christmas. Even so, like my colleagues in the Senate, I believe members of the House of Representatives will look at the evidence collected by the Senate committee and exercise their free vote bearing in mind the evidence and the view of the majority of their constituents, Senator Allison said. Women in 33 countries have had access to RU486, many for more than 10 years and Australian women may soon join them.