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Controversial Vic MP flags abortion bill

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Controversial Victorian MP Geoff Shaw says he would like the state’s abortion laws changed and has flagged tabling a private member’s bill.

The balance-of-power MP told the ABC’s 7.30 program Victorian doctors who do not wish to perform abortions should not be required to refer patients to one who would.

Mr Shaw, a devout Christian, said he had been granted permission by Premier Denis Napthine last May to draw up a private member’s bill.

Late last year Dr Napthine released a video ruling-out changes to abortion legislation.

“Let me again be crystal-clear about this – I have no intention whatsoever of introducing or supporting legislation that would reduce a woman’s right to choose,” Dr Napthine said on the video.

But Mr Shaw said he would like see a bill addressing the issue before parliament in this term of government.

“The laws in Victoria are some of the worst laws in the world,” Mr Shaw told the ABC.

“There’s gender selection abortion, it allows partial birth abortion.

“I’m not in favour of that.”

He said he also supported doctors “who have a conscious in this state” being able to advise the way they want to advise.

Victorian law requires medical practitioners with a conscientious objection to terminations to refer a woman seeking one to another practitioner who doesn’t have that objection.

Mr Shaw said he thinks that law should be changed.

“I asked him back in May for permission to have a private member’s bill drawn up, he said yes,” Mr Shaw said of Dr Napthine.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews told the ABC women and all Victorians would be alarmed to think such an important issue would become “a chip in a game” about the government surviving.

“That is simply not right,” he said.

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