Thursday, February 16, 2006

LETTER: RU486, ministerial accountability and democracy

It is encouraging that the RU-486 private members bill passed through the House of Representatives, putting the decision on the availability of the drug in the capable hands of the TGA.

However, after all the debates and impassioned speeches, there was final vote taken on the Bill was not counted, so we don’t know how our MPs have voted, which is a convenient abrogation of democratic accountability to the electorate.

As Minister Abbott and Prime Minister John Howard have been calling this a 'vote of no confidence' in Abbot as Health minister, will he now resign?

And will Danna Vale’s extremist views on Muslims go unchecked? She and Tony Abbot provided perfect examples of why the decision to approve RU-486 should NOT be in the hands of parliamentarians.

This bill was a victory for women and democracy. Without the overwhelming support of women parliamentarians it would not have passed. It is quite clear that we need more women in parliament, and that conscience votes improve democratic process.

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