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Au Political News: MP Geoff Shaw Cries for the Unborn

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By Athena Yenko | April 4, 2014 4:33 PM EST

While the parliament was accusing Labor of cramming for the last session of the week in its dire aim to defeat the Jury Directions Amendment Bill, Independent MP Geoff Shaw "cries for the unborn."

In his speech in parliament Friday, he responded to MP Bernie Finn's comment saying women have no reasons to seek abortion.

"I take up the cry for Frankston and I also while I am in this place take up the cry for the unborn," Mr Shaw said.

But the spotlight was casted when he sided with the opposition to defeat the bill in question.

Making headlines, Mr Shaw released a statement shortly to explain his decision.

"It is not right to vote on legislation that has not been debated by Parliament. It goes against what Parliament stands for, which is a discussion and a debate of legislation. This bill was not afforded that opportunity. And therefore I did not vote in favour of it," Mr Shaw wrote in his statement.

Shadow Attorney-General Martin Pakula accused the Government of suppressing democratic debate.

"The Government needs to understand that it can't use the Parliament as some kind of rubber stamp, particularly when it's a minority Government because they are simply so dysfunctional they can't manage the House," he said.

The government is not entitled to simply try and ram a bill through the parliament without debate. It is an abuse of the parliament to expect any member to vote on legislation that has not been the subject of debate," Mr Pakula added.

Labor argued that it supported the content of the bill, technically, it could not vote for legislation without debate.

Attorney General Robert Clark was furious as well.

"Labor have deliberately filibustered and prolonged debate on other bills in order to engineer an excuse to defeat this bill. They have shown they are willing to put political point scoring ahead of the interests of victims of crime. Labor were offered numerous opportunities to adjourn other bills in order to allow this bill to be debated but they repeatedly rejected those opportunities."

Mr Clark put the blame on Labor Leader Daniel Andrews for his intentional delay of the debate. 

''This is part of an ongoing strategy by Labor to put political opportunism ahead of the interests of Victorians in having Parliament debate and pass good legislation that will make life better for Victorian families,'' Mr Clark said.

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