Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Mixed feelings

Former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner, who was in office from 1990 to 1992, died after a battle with cancer. She was 76. As a conservative I didn't agree with her politics, but for the most part I respected her. She governed under very difficult circumstances, and led a dysfunctional and incompetent cabinet.

I add this qualifying statement because after Kirner left politics, she was involved in establishing EMILY's List Australia, a network set up to help progressive women candidates run for elected office. This organisation has been quite successful. A key plank of EMILY's List's platform is the principle of reproductive rights.

Kirner was also a long time advocate of abortion law reform. In 2008 Victoria enacted laws allowing late term abortion after 24 weeks gestation. Pro-abortion Labor parliamentarians were instrumental in getting this legislation passed.

Joan Kirner must bear part of the responsibility for these laws. I am sad about her passing, but I am also sad about the numbers of abortions in Victoria.




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