Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has reignited the abortion debate, describing those who advocate choice as “pro-death”.
He claims that there are 80,000 to 100,000 abortions in Australia every year.
“It’s a lot and I don’t know anyone in this country that wants to see more abortions,” Bernardi told ABC Radio on Monday.
The discussion about abortion being a woman’s right had been shut down and it needed to be reopened, he said.
“What is needed is a reversal back to sanity and reason,” he said.
Bernardi has used a new book to accuse some women of using abortion as “an abhorrent form of birth control” but he stopped short of saying it should be banned.
“I have said there is a right-to-life issue we should be exploring,” he said.
Senior Labor figure Anthony Albanese says Senator Bernardi’s comments are an offensive contribution to the debate.
“[He] says that he’s pro-freedom, but he’s against women’s right to control their own bodies,” he said.
The Australian Greens have called on Tony Abbott, the prime minister, to condemn his colleague’s comments.
“The senator is merely continuing his form as an ideological warrior lacking any intellectual rigour, insight or common decency,” acting leader Richard Di Natale said.
Bernardi also advocated more flexible industrial relations laws, including a return to individual workplace agreements.
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