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Women winners on RU486 conscience vote.

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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

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Democrats Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Status of Women

Dated: 07 December 2005 Press Release Number: cxkftfoi Portfolio: Status of Women Related: Health and Ageing

Women Winners on RU486 Conscience Vote

The joint sponsorship of the RU 486 amendment with Nationals Senator Fiona Nash, which will be heard as a Private Members Bill in the first session of Parliament next year, is good news for Australian women, Democrats Leader Senator Lyn Allison said today.

"Its good news the Prime Minister has agreed hear the RU 486 Bill in the first session of Parliament next year on a conscience vote," Senator Allison said.

"I hope it will succeed. Even those Members and Senators who may have an objection to abortion, should see this as an appropriate choice for women, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration as the appropriate body to approve RU 486.

"It is heartening for the Democrats and all those who fought for this legislation. We were opposed to the ban in 1996 and this is a vindication of our efforts. Its also a sign that women in this country will likely join the women in America, New Zealand, Europe and the UK to name just a few, in having this choice," Senator Allison said.

Democrats Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said only the Australian Democrats opposed the Harradine amendments in 1996.

"While we are disappointed it has taken ten years to have the chance to reverse former Senator Brian Harradines 1996 amendment that effectively banned RU 486, I am glad our Private Members Bill will be debated in February.

"RU 486 has been proven to be a safe and effective alternative to surgical abortion, and Australian women should be granted access to it without delay," Senator Stott Despoja said.