BY EMMA SCHMIDT
INCUMBENT Labor MP Maxine Morand is the only Mt Waverley electorate candidate to refuse a debate on euthanasia and abortion.
Democratic Labor Party candidate Des Kelly challenged his three opponents to a public debate on both issues, but Ms Morand last week declined.
“(The DLP) needs to accept that the Victorian Parliament debated this (abortion) issue and passed the legislation,” Ms Morand said.
“The opportunity for debate has long gone.”
Ms Morand introduced the 2008 Bill that went on to become the Abortion Law Reform Act, allowing women to have abortions up until 24 weeks gestation, and after that time if two doctors agreed a termination was necessary.
Ms Morand also declined Mr Kelly’s request to debate the topic of euthanasia.
“My views are well-known — that I support, in principle, voluntary euthanasia,” she said.
Ms Morand said Labor had no plans to introduce a voluntary euthanasia Bill, nor would she introduce it via a private member’s Bill.
Mr Kelly said he wanted a debate because he believed many voters were unaware of the reality of euthanasia and abortion.
“One of the important considerations for the DLP is the damage being done to women because of abortion,” he said.
“It has been well-established that the consequences of women having abortions are a deep psychological effect on them.”
Mr Kelly said he also feared that voluntary euthanasia could lead to involuntary euthanasia.
But Greens candidate Josh Fergeus said legalising euthanasia would actually reduce the number of deaths by involuntary euthanasia by giving people the right to choose.
“It lets people have a dignified way over when their life will end. The Greens supported both voluntary euthanasia and abortion,” he said.
Liberal candidate Michael Gidley said: “I don’t support changes to the existing laws because I believe the existing laws provide the right balance between access to palliative care and preventing abuse of human life.”