Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006
Consideration in Detail
I do not want to keep the House very long but I do want to clear up my own position on these amendments. In the substantive debate on the second reading of the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006, I made the point that to me this bill was so unacceptable and so objectionable that it was unable to be improved and that no amendment could make it an attractive bill because its basic tenets are completely antithetical to anyone who believes in a human life as the principal defining characteristic of a civilised society. I was unaware at that time that there would be amendments moved, but amendments have now been moved by my friend the honourable member for Bass, and it would be remiss of me not to vote in favour of these amendments. It would also be remiss of me not to explain to the House why I am changing my position from the original debate.
My view is that, if we can salvage anything from the wreckage of passing this bill 20 minutes ago, we should try and do so. If we can, by passing these amendments, stop the practice of extracting stem cells from aborted female foetuses, then it really is incumbent upon all right-thinking people to vote for these amendments in order to make the bill as unobjectionable as possible. In these few brief words, I would ask my colleagues to search their consciences and their views about this bill, forget about whether they voted in favour or against the second reading and think clearly about what these amendments propose. It is not a clever artifice designed to try and defeat aspects of the bill. These are genuine amendments that would stop the use of aborted female foetuses for the extraction of stem cells. I would ask people to vote for them.