Call it the "killing Ted Bill" - MP speaks against abortion
PROPOSED abortion reform should be called the "killing Ted bill".
This startling assertion was just one of many in an emotive speech delivered by Hervey Bay's LNP State Member Ted Sorensen in Queensland Parliament.
Speaking against Labor's proposed bill during its second reading on Tuesday night, Mr Sorensen declared himself as a "survivor" of an unwanted pregnancy.
"If this law were present in those days, I would not be alive to speak on behalf of all of the babies who have the right to live-and I believe that I had the right to live. I still believe that.
"I do not believe that some minister opposite can bring a bill to this House that says, 'Terminate that pregnancy.'
"I feel that this bill we are debating today should be called 'killing Ted bill'. That is the way I feel."
Describing the debate as "very personal", Mr Sorensen spoke of our he had been fostered out at 13 months, had an adopted daughter who he loved dearly and he believed both he and her deserved to live.
He also referred to his joint campaign with local pregnancy loss awareness advocate Jodie Tangikara which successfully resulted in commemorative birth certificates for all women who miscarried or had a still birth before 20 weeks.
"That is why I cannot support this bill, because it is my strong belief that it is a life. I am living proof of that.
"There is nothing wrong with living. I have an adopted daughter. I love her greatly. Why should she have been terminated?
"She has grown up with us. She has enjoyed life. She has two beautiful children. However, this bill says we can terminate it all.
"Why? Think about it.
"When honourable members vote on it, just think about killing Ted over here because that is what you are doing to my heart today."
Mr Sorensen's close by LNP colleagues, Gympie MP Tony Perrett and Bundaberg MP David Batt also strongly opposed the bill.
Both Labor and LNP members have been allowed a conscience vote.
The debate continues today.
Under the proposed reform, abortion in Queensland would be decriminalised and women allowed safer, easier access to terminations up to 22 weeks.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders recently told the Chronicle he would vote for the bill.
"I believe this is a very personal thing which is a medical issue for a woman between her partner, family and medical practitioner," he said.
"People don't just do this without thinking; there are heaps of measures and safe guards put in place thanks to this proposed stringent legislation from the law reform society.
"We need to ensure women's health is looked after."
* CLARIFICATION: A print version of this story in Thursday's Chronicle referred to doctors agreeing on terminations up to 22 weeks. This is incorrect. Two doctors will only have to agree for terminations requested after 22 weeks. This was an editing error after a story was shortened and two sentences inadvertently joined. The Chronicle apologises for any confusion caused