Counter Move

Within days, Marilyn Waring announced that she was bringing a Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Repeal bill into the House. It was seen as a move to retain the status quo, providing MPs with the option of opposing both Waring and Kidd bills, and then claiming they had opposed efforts to make abortions more readily available.

The CS&A Repeal bill would repeal the Act and make abortions a matter between the woman and her doctor.

MPs spoke with great passion in support of either bills. The Waring bill was voted on first, going down 20 to 57. The House then returned to the Kidd bill. There was a sense of unease among some supportive MPs, that there were no provision for exceptional circumstances such as rape, incest or foetal abnormality. Some indicated they would seek amendments once the bill went to select committee.