A SENATOR will speak in Wodonga tonight on his proposed law to stop a perceived occurrence of sex-selective abortion.
Senator John Madigan, based in Ballarat, introduced a bill last year to prevent Medicare funding gender-based pregnancy terminations.
It ultimately failed after a Senate inquiry recommended against it being passed.
Senator Madigan, a Democratic Labor Party member who is staunchly anti-abortion in general, has continued his campaign.
He will speak at Wodonga Baptist Church tonight, before a documentary on sex-selective abortion is screened.
The practice is known to occur in some countries, including China and India, where boys are deemed more desirable.
“We have so many people in the community who would love to have a child, whatever the sex, and just can’t,” Senator Madigan said yesterday.
“I just cannot believe you can pick and choose the sex of a child like a handbag.”
Senator Madigan conceded his evidence of the practice in Australia was largely anecdotal.
“You can’t even get accurate figures of how many abortions are performed across the country so we’re not going to get figures on this,” he said.
Senator Madigan’s case doesn’t impress Susie Reid, executive officer of the women’s health network Women’s Health Goulburn North East.
She said there was “no evidence base” for the Senator’s call as Australia’s birth rates show relatively equal numbers of boys and girls.
Most abortions occurred early in pregnancy, before the gender was known.
“In China, with the one-child policy, you could see it in the statistics, but in Australia there is no evidence of it,” she said.
The World Health Organisation says restricting sex-selective abortion has little effect without broader measures to address social and gender inequality.