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Thursday, 13 September 1973
Page: 966

Mr REYNOLDS (Barton) - I am indebted to my distinguished colleague the Postmaster-General (Mr Lionel Bowen) for the preparation of the amendment I am about to read to the House. He had intended to move it but because he has already spoken on the amendment moved by the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser) I understand that he is not eligible to do so. The amendment reads:

The notice of motion be amended by omitting all words after 'that' in order to insert the following in place thereof: in the opinion of this House three Commissioners be appointed to inquire into, investigate, take evidence on oath, evaluate and make recommendations to the Australian Parliament in respect of the following:

(a)   The circumstances which cause women to seek abortion;

(b)   The medical and social consequences of abortion including the health, security, well being and future enjoyment of life by the woman concerned;

(c)   The action required to assist women in avoiding the necessity for abortion;

(d)   The action required to deter persons, including the male parent, from aiding and abetting an abortion;

(e)   The adequacy and effectiveness of existing family planning techniques; (0 The action required to ensure medical practitioners will always act in the interest of safeguarding a woman's health and well being when abortion is sought.

(g)   The action required to ensure that all medical services are available free of cost to all women where pregnancy becomes a social and medical problem;

(h)   The action required to establish the necessary supportive services to ensure the well being of the mother both during and after the pregnancy; (i) Generally, as to the action required to ensure the preservation of life of the mother and her unborn.

2.   That the Commissioners have access to all Federal authorities' records relating to health, social security, matrimonial causes and income tax and have power to seek the co-operation of the respective State authorities in these jurisdictions and including the State Law Enforcement and Child Welfare agencies.

3.   As far as practicable the Commissioners to comprise a mother experienced in social welfare, a medical practitioner, and a criminologist. The Commissioners to be assisted by senior counsel and have the power to sit in camera.

In moving this amendment--

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Before the honourable gentleman proceeds further I inform him that the amendment is not in order firstly because we have not received a prior copy and secondly, because it is not in the correct form. In addition, it is in conflict with the amendment already before the Chair.

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