Catholic groups decry Senate vote

The Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Perth was one of the first Catholic organisations to react to yesterday's Senate vote in favour of the bill to deny the Federal Health Minister a veto on the controversial RU-486 abortion drug.

The vote was a setback for pro-life groups, who are hoping that next week's vote in the House of Representatives will reject the bill.

Executive director of the Perth Respect Life Office, Clare Pike, said: "I am conscious of the fact that many of these men and women do not realise what they are doing because they are suffering from the trauma of abortion themselves. Senator Allison was a good example of this [in speaking of her own abortion on Wednesday]."

Saddened by the revelation of Allison's abortion, Miss Pike said, "I was so sorry to hear about Senator Allison's loss. I'm sure she is not the only member of Parliament who is reliving their experience through this debate. It is no wonder she has been so intense about her position. These last few weeks must have been very difficult for her."

Senator Allison's revelation highlights why the Parliament should remain involved in the RU-486 decision through the Minister for Health. Each person considering RU-486 is influenced by their upbringing and past experiences. The TGA members are no exception. The difference is that the TGA can not be held accountable for their decision. The additional scrutiny of the Minister is therefore imperative.

After reflecting upon Allison's comments Miss Pike warned the lower house, "The House of Representatives should note that men and women such as Senator Allison need compassion as people, not sympathy for an ideology that is empty and damaging for women."

Miss Pike commended the Senators who have been working for a significant period of time to alert their colleagues to the dangers of RU-486. "The heroic efforts of some members will be remembered for a long time."

Meanwhile, the Australian Catholic Students Association joined the Muslim Students Association and the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students have vowed to fight on despite today's Senate vote.

The students associations reissued a joint statement that will now be sent to all members of The House of Representatives. The joint statement is a sign that many young people feel strongly and are concerned about the effects of the drug. It recognises RU-486 as a serious social issue that will impact on the lives of many young Australians, especially young women.

Muslim, Evangelical Christian and Catholic Students vow to fight on against RU-486 despite Senate Vote (Muslim Students Association of Australia 9/2/06)
They do not realize what they are doing (Respect Life Office, Archdiocese of Perth 9/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Joint Statement (Muslim Students Association of Australia 9/2/06)

Catholic and Evangelical students join Muslims in RU-486 fight (CathNews 9/2/06)
Abbott says attacks are sectarian (CathNews 9/2/06)
Bishop Fisher says RU406 won't curb abortions (CathNews 7/2/06)
Catholic GPs ready to quit over RU-486 (CathNews 3/2/06)
Life Office criticises advertiser's gag on abortion debate (CathNews 1/2/06)
Churches lead RU406 protest (CathNews 30/1/06)
Day of action to fight abortion drug move (CathNes 27/1/06)
Melbourne Archbishop says maintain abortion drug ban (CathNews 25/1/06)
Pope says 'no' to gay marriage, abortion pill (CathNews 13/1/06)
Catholic Health to address abortion pill inquiry (CathNews 15/12/06)

Catholic doctors resign from AMA (Catholic Leader 12/2/06)
Abortion drug 'a killer, not a cure' - Life Office (Catholic Weekly 12/2/06)
Australian cabinet minister decries "sectarian" criticism on RU-486 (Catholic World News 9/2/06)
Australian Senate Votes in Favor of Dangerous Abortifacient Drug RU486 (LifeSite.net 9/2/06)

10 Feb 2006