Anger at proposed Tasmanian abortion bill

Barry Lyons

Devonport's Barry Lyons is  a man used to defying the odds. Mr Lyons, a Catholic who is 85 and a dwarf, is angry about Tasmanias proposed abortion decriminalisation laws, reports The Advocate.

'Some doctors wrote me off,' said Barry, whose parents were Dame Enid Lyons and Tasmania's only prime minister, Joe Lyons. They did not give up and for that, their son, one of 11 children, is eternally thankful.

'I am an 85-year-old dwarf. To say my life has not been easy is an understatement. It was exacerbated by the prominence of my parents, who were told, when I was born, that I would be lucky to live to 20 years of age,' Mr Lyons said.

Mr Lyons is angry about Tasmania's proposed abortion decriminalisation laws passed in the Tasmanian House of Assembly in April, which are now before an Upper House committee. He says the bill  legalises the abortion of dwarfs (those with achondroplasia).

However,  Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne disputes this is the case. She said neither the current law or the proposed bill opened the door to discrimination based on disability.

The Health Department supports the bill it says will improve the health and wellbeing of women by reframing terminations in a health context not a criminal context.

Mr Lyons' views are based on his Catholic values and the rights of an unborn child which he feels very deeply about. 'I would be dead now - that makes me unhappy,' he said.

'For me, it's abhorrent to kill a baby. It's a view based on my own belief in myself.'

FULL STORY Anger at proposed Tasmanian abortion bill

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