On 18 November the SA Legislative Council rejected the Greens euthanasia bill, 11 votes to 9.
The final vote stunned the parliament, especially Greens MP Mark Parnell. He had earlier been upbeat, anticipating “an important day” where a state house of parliament would vote in favour of euthanasia. However Family First MP Dennis Hood gave a brief, clear speech listing the bill’s many serious flaws – all reasons why no one should support it.
Independent MP Ann Bressington had supported the second reading which passed 11:10 on 28 October, saying she would not vote for the third reading unless parliament backed her amendments to close loopholes in the bill. However even some euthanasia supporters rejected her amendments, which were released for scrutiny only hours before the debate. Several MPs said some amendments were unworkable.
Ms Bressington walked out in anger and did not vote for the third reading – but Mark Parnell still expected a tied vote of 10:10. Council President Hon Bob Sneath announced that he would use his casting vote to pass the bill.
But that did not happen. Just before the final vote, upper house Liberal leader David Ridgway rose to his feet. He said his mother had died a few days earlier and he had been thinking a lot about the bill. Despite his earlier vote in favour, he did not feel comfortable voting for the third reading. The bill was defeated, 11:9.
SA FamilyVoice state officer David d’Lima has warmly thanked MPs who voted for life on 18 November: Dennis Hood, Robert Brokenshire (Family First); Bernard Finnigan, Paul Holloway, Carmel Zollo (ALP); Robert Lawson, Rob Lucas, David Ridgway, Caroline Schaefer, Terry Stephens, Stephen Wade (Liberal).
- Human life and dignity