Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006
Consideration in Detail
I am aware of the short time left, so I will keep my remarks relatively brief. I would like to touch on good law, bad law and political tactics. I would illustrate the differences in these by putting this proposition before the chamber: if the amendment that the member for Bass is currently putting before the House had been put and accepted in the Senate, how many of those who are supporting this bill here in the lower house would have moved to overturn it? If the member for Bass’s amendment to deny the opportunity to scientists to use the eggs of aborted foetuses had been accepted in the Senate—and I sincerely believe it would have been accepted had it been put—how many of those who will stand to vote against this amendment would have supported a move to allow access to these eggs of aborted foetuses in order to allow this science to go ahead?
What I am saying is: if the genuine motive is science then, fine, do not support the amendment. But to all of those who support this bill and would vote against this amendment on the basis of political tactics—because they do not want the arguments to stand on their merits back in the upper house—then be aware that you will be recognised as doing that as a political tactic rather than believing in the science that lies behind it. So I simply put that proposition to the House. Irrespective of whether you support or do not support the bill, you should recognise that allowing this is bad law. If it had been moved and passed in the Senate, which I suspect it would have been, I also suspect that there would be very few, if any, who would have moved an amendment in order to knock it out and to allow this legislation through.