Pro- and anti-abortion demonstrators gathered outside Australia's Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday (10 May) as Members of Parliament voted on a private members' bill to allow abortion.
GV Anti-abortion demonstrators march towards parliament House (3 shots)
GV Tent headquarters of pro-abortion group on Parliament House lawn, PAN TO anti-abortion demonstrators assembling down road
CU Signs and placards against abortion bill
MV PAN & Pro-abortion demonstrators holding signs and banners, singing
GV Police separating demonstrators
GV PAN Demonstrators outside parliament House
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Background: Pro- and anti-abortion demonstrators gathered outside Australia's Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday (10 May) as Members of Parliament voted on a private members' bill to allow abortion.
A crowd of several hundred anti-abortion demonstrators carrying banners marched to the front of Parliament House, and there confronted a crowd of demonstrators favouring the liberalised bill.
There were no incidents, but police kept the opposing groups separated.
But inside, M.P.s voted down the proposed reform bill and also rejected a proposal for a Royal Commission to study the question.
The anti-abortion group outside cheered on hearing the result. Supporters of the bill played music over loudspeakers trying to drown the cheering.
The reform bill, introduced by two members of the ruling Labour Party would have allowed women to obtain abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy or up to the 23rd week if two doctors would agree.