Newly minted Minister for Health and Women Sarah Courtney appears set to follow in her failed predecessor’s footsteps and block access to terminations for Tasmanian women.
Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Women Michelle O’Byrne said Ms Courtney had provided yet more absurd excuses for not providing access to a low cost provider despite 18 months of promises from the Minority Liberal Government.
“As Minister for Women, I’m really keen to talk and engage with stakeholders as well as women and patients across Tasmania and making sure that I understand the full range of needs across the whole range of women’s health.” –Sarah Courtney, July 5
“Those statements by Sarah Courtney are ridiculous,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“What doesn’t she understand? Terminations have been legal in Tasmania since 2013, the issue has been debated in Parliament in the last year and there is nothing to consult.
“Does she intend to consult with the community on every surgical procedure available through the state’s public hospitals?
“She doesn’t need to hold more talks – Ms Courtney just needs to get on with the job of providing the service her predecessor the failed Health Minister Michael Ferguson told Tasmanians last November would be available within days and then did not provide.
“It is now 18 months since the last low cost provider in Tasmania closed.
“During those 18 months Michael Ferguson allowed his personal beliefs to get in the way of providing a new service.
“Ms Courtney is now on the record claiming to be pro-choice. If that is the case why does she need to travel the state talking about an issue that doesn’t need any more discussion, it needs action.
“The Premier was too weak to stand up to Mr Ferguson on this crucial issue. If Ms Courtney is not willing to act, the Premier needs to tell Tasmanians if he is too weak to stand up to her also.”
Michelle O’Byrne MP
Shadow Minister for Women