Let's hope the door to more abortions in Australia is not opened. They have made a good stand against RU-486, and protected countless women's lives. As is usual with abortion, the group most affected are the underclass--women in rural or poor areas of the country. Of course, there is no mention of the dangerous potential side effects and the many death cases here in the US.
John Howard, who has been lobbied by Dr Stone, hinted the Coalition would be prepared to debate the availability of RU-486, which is freely available in many countries, including Britain, New Zealand and the US.
"We'll have a talk about that inside the Government," the Prime Minister said. "Any view I have on it I will first contribute to the internal government discussion on it."
Senior Labor frontbenchers Tanya Plibersek and Julia Gillard supported a review of the ban. "The appropriate thing for the Government to now do is to commission some independent medical experts to review new information and to make some recommendations to government about what should be done to deal with the RU-486 issue," Ms Gillard said.
The Democrats have long advocated removing constraints on RU-486. "Mifepristone has been used by 2million women worldwide and is a proven safe alternative to surgical abortions," Democrats leader Lyn Allison said yesterday.
Dr Stone's argument that access to the banned pill would assist women in regional areas cut little ice with vocal anti-abortionist and Nationals Senate leader Ron Boswell.
"I'd be against the abortion pill and don't think there's any need to change the current policy," he said.
Until July, the Government honored a loose agreement made in 1996 with Brian Harradine to inform the Tasmanian senator of any moves to alter government restrictions on RU-486.
The retirement of Senator Harradine, an avowed pro-lifer, has removed an obstacle to changing the policy.