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Wednesday, 23 May 1973
Page: 2473

Mr MATHEWS (Casey) - I give notice that on General Business Thursday No. 6 I shall move and the honourable member for Hotham shall second:

That in the opinion of this House, a Federal Judge should be appointed as sole Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of the Royal Commissions Act to inquire into and report upon:

(1)   How many abortions are performed each year in Australia and what are the characteristics of the women who are aborted and the circumstances in which abortions occur.

(2)   What are the consequences of abortion for women who are aborted, practitioners performing abortion procedures, police enforcing the laws on abortion and the community as a whole.

(3)   What are the courses open to women who carry through unwanted pregnancies and what are the consequences of each course for the mother and for the child.

(4)   How effective are the laws on abortion of the Australian Capital Territory, of each State and of countries comparable with Australia, what alternatives to the law in the Australian Capital Territory are offered by laws in other places and what are the likely medical, social and economic effects associated with each alternative.

(5)   In what ways can the incidence of abortion be reduced by improving services and facilities such as sex education in schools, family planning clinics, supply of contraceptives, pregnancy support agencies, adoption agencies and social security payments.

(6)   Other matters which the Commission regards as relevant to abortion and the shortcomings in fertility control of which abortion is an expression.

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