WESTERN Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he does not support a backbench MP’s proposal for women seeking abortions to first undergo 3-D colour ultrasound imaging and view the foetus.
State Liberal MP and former pastor Peter Abetz suggested the compulsory ultrasounds at an anti-abortion rally at Parliament House in Perth last night.
He said that in the United States, a study had shown that 89 per cent of women committed to having abortions had not gone ahead with the procedure when shown 3-D colour ultrasounds of the foetuses they were carrying. Mr Abetz wants other law amendments including a 48-hour “cooling off period” after women have applied for an abortion.
Mr Barnett told Fairfax Radio today he understood both sides of the argument but he did not support mandatory ultrasounds. “I understand what Peter is saying, but I think that would put a huge amount of personal pressure on someone who is already going through somewhat of a personal crisis, so I don’t support that.”
Mr Barnett said Mr Abetz was free to promote his point of view on the issue. Mr Abetz said he was not arguing there should be no abortions, but women should know the facts in order to make a genuine decision. Abortion rights campaigner Robyn Murphy has called on Mr Abetz to produce evidence of the “unbelievable” US figures he quoted.
The Catholic Archbishop of Perth Barry Hickey said Mr Abetz’s plan deserved consideration to change the impression abortion was problem-free.