A Labor MP says she has removed her campaign posters from a building that until recently housed Tasmania’s only abortion clinic because she did not want to upset people.
Right-wing Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie said the posters were removed from the windows of the legal office above the former Hobart clinic, which closed in December, a couple of days ago.
“I have already taken the posters down, because I don’t want to upset people, that is exactly the opposite of my aim,” she said.
Ms Ogilvie, a social conservative, said she was not trying to make a statement and the posters were not placed in the building as part of factional infighting, as the Liberals asserted.
“My friend who is a lawyer offered to put them up there. But I am genuinely sorry if I upset anybody,” Ms Ogilvie said.
Earlier in the day, Labor leader Rebecca White was asked if the location of the posters was inappropriate.
“It’s a building and I just don’t understand what the issue is here, we’ve got election materials hanging off a number of buildings,” she said.
Ms White said the “physical structures” election posters occupy do not imply a “position on a particular issue”.
Ms Ogilvie says she is concerned about the balance of power between ALP moderates and the Left faction. (Supplied: Facebook)
Ms White confirmed a Labor government would provide access to abortions through the state’s public hospitals at a cost to the state budget of around $180,000 a year.
“Providing access to this service in the public health system is a human right. It is a legal health procedure like any other health procedure and it should be funded in the public health system,” Ms White said.
Federal Labor has promised that if the party wins the next federal election it would provide $1 million to build a standalone clinic.
Ms White has previously said providing access to abortions through the public hospital system was her preferred option, however there is no guarantee Tasmanian Labor would fund a stand alone clinic if federal Labor doesn’t win the next election.
The Tasmanian Liberals are opposed to providing access to abortions through the public health system.
The Government extended its travel allowance to women who need to travel to Melbourne for an abortion after the state’s only dedicated abortion clinic closed in December.
Family Planning chief executive Cedric Manen said there were only two private providers performing terminations, and women had to pay up to $2,500 for the procedure.
“It’s not adequate,” Mr Manen said. “Women should have access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health rights in a regional setting.”
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