News National ‘Boycott bigoted conference’
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‘Boycott bigoted conference’

Cabinet Minister Kevin Andrews is set to open the conference on Saturday.
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The Senate has passed a motion calling for federal ministers to boycott a controversial conference that endorses anti-abortion and anti-gay messages.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews is opening The World Congress of Families on Saturday and a spokeswoman for the Minister said it is a conference about families and fits within his portfolio.

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American surgeon Angela Lanfranchi, who has linked abortion and breast cancer, is one of the speakers.

The World Congress of Families’ website promotes marriage between a man and a woman because they have “complementary natures”.

The organisation also endorses the right to life “from fertilisation to death”.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters moved a motion in the Senate to urge Mr Andrews and any other Government MPs planning to attend the conference to cancel.

“By opening the conference, Minister Andrews is legitimising the prejudiced, bigoted ideals of the World Congress of Families,” she said.

“The Abbott Government and its backward views are completely out of touch with the Australian community.”

The motion to the Senate was endorsed without the need for a formal vote.

Another Cabinet Minister, Eric Abetz, sparked debate over Dr Lanfranchi’s views in a Channel 10 interview earlier this month, when he appeared to endorse the doctor’s research.

“I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer,” he said.

At the time, head of the Australian Medical Association Brian Owler disputed the research.

“I think it needs to be made very clear that there are very robust studies, international studies, which have discredited any link between abortion and breast cancer,” he said.

“There is no link between abortion and breast cancer. We need to make that very clear to the public, and certainly we should not be promoting any papers from the 1950s.”

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