The Australian
reports today that Family First Senator Steve Fielding was offered family tax incentives to support the Government’s voluntary student unionism legislation last Friday – but rumours that the Senate’s RU486 inquiry has been nobbled as part of the deal won’t go away.

Perhaps the people spreading them should look at another Senator – the chair of the Committee, ACT Liberal Gary Humphries.

Humphries is an interesting choice to Chair the committee on RU-486. He is a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly. There, Humphries and the mostly anti-abortion Liberal Party MLA worked very hard to oppose Wayne Berry’s bill to take abortion out of the Criminal Code.

They failed, and the ACT became the first jurisdiction in Australia to make abortion completely legal. But here’s a contribution from the debate, from 21 August 2002:

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (4.30): My position on abortion has been clear for a very long time. I oppose abortion except in very limited circumstances. I believe in the sanctity of human life. I do not believe there is any such thing, in 21st century Australia at least, as an unwanted child.

My opposition has been clear for some 18 years, since I first stood as a candidate for public office in this territory. My views about abortion have been published regularly before each election in which I have participated, and I think the value of the clarity of my position and the consistency of my approach has been that my support in the electorate has increased as the years have gone by…

Nothing like approaching an issue with an open mind, is there.