80 rally against abortion changes

ABOUT 80 people lined the footpath in front of Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne's office yesterday, in a silent protest against proposed abortion laws.

The crowd, which was predominately female and represented most age groups, quietly held placards and model foetuses for half an hour.

Organiser Elizabeth Heckscher, of Newstead, said she was surprised by the turnout, having only expected 20 people to show up.

She said she felt compelled to fight proposed abortion legislation, as she thought it disregarded a baby's right to life.

Under the proposed Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Act 2013, a medical practitioner can terminate the pregnancy of a woman who is no more than 24 weeks pregnant. After 24 weeks, a termination is allowed if two doctors certify that it would be a lesser risk to the woman's mental or physical health than continuing the pregnancy.

Ms O'Byrne said she recognised that people on all sides of the issue had strong views, and she respected their right to make those views known.

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