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Cross-Party pregnancy counselling bill introduced.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

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

Dated: 07 December 2006 Press Release Number: lnafcnze Portfolio: Status of Women

Cross-Party pregnancy counselling bill introduced

A cross-Party bill to prohibit misleading and deceptive advertising by pregnancy counselling services was introduced to the Senate this morning.

The Pregnancy Counselling (Truth in Advertising) Bill 2006 is co-sponsored by Democrat Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Liberal Senator Judith Troeth, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle and ALP Senator Carol Brown.

Based on a bill introduced by Senator Stott Despoja in 2005, it will ensure pregnancy counselling services must be upfront about whether or not they refer for terminations on request.

"This is an exciting day for Australian women," Democrats' Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said.

"If passed, this bill will ensure women can not be misled into contacting anti-abortion services if they are after objective information on all pregnancy options, or information on how to obtain a termination."

"It is of absolute importance that women be able to identify a service that will meet their needs at a very vulnerable time in their lives," Senator Carol Brown said.

"It is essential that women have the best knowledge of the options available during pregnancy, and counselling services should provide up-front information on the type of services they provide," Senator Troeth said.

"The Australian Greens are proud to be a part of this important bill which ensures that Australian women with an unplanned pregnancy will be able to access genuine all options pregnancy counselling, without fear of being misdirected to 'right to life' organisations by misleading and deceptive advertising," Senator Nettle said.