Australia: NT Parliament poised for conscience vote on abortion drugs

Samira Assma's picture

A parliamentary vote on a Bill which would grant Territory women access to abortion drugs for the first time could take place this week. Speaker Kezia Purick introduced a private member’s Bill last November – which would change the Medical Services Act to allow a choice to medical abortions through the drug RU486. The continuation of debate is scheduled for Wednesday’s general business day but it is the second item listed on the Notice Paper. The major political parties are allowing a conscience vote on the issue. Ms Purick said there would be an amendment from the ­Attorney-General and she had some amendments to the Bill which would need to be ­debated. Business Minister Peter Styles would not be drawn on his voting intentions or if the Bill was likely to succeed. “I think everyone is going to listen to the debate and have their say,” he said. “I will be speaking as the Member for Sanderson as opposed to a member of Government.