LABOR candidate Lisa Chesters has described The Right To Life Australia advertising campaign as “ugly”.
An advertisement featuring an image of a baby and the slogan “Vote Chesters Last” was published in the Bendigo Weekly last week.
The advertisement was authorised by The Right To Life Australia president Margaret Tighe and features text including “Every abortion kills a baby”. Ms Chesters said the ad was a “dirty attack”.
“It’s deliberately to attack and incite ugliness in the closing stages of this election campaign,” she said.
Women’s Health Loddon Mallee executive officer Linda Beilharz described the advertisement message as “alarming” this week.
Ms Beilharz said the ad was misleading and did great injustice to the real issues around pregnancy, abortion, choice for women and the health of families in our community.
Ms Chesters said termination was a matter between a woman and her doctor.
“Politicians have no place in being involved in that decision,” she said.
“What I believe we need to do is work together in the community to support women, regardless of their age, regardless of their status.
“It’s a tough decision for any woman to make and this kind of political attack ad just alienates anybody who might be in this tough circumstance. I’ve never hid the fact that I support a woman’s right to choose.”
The Right To Life Australia president Margaret Tighe said the ad had a rightful place in the election campaign.
“We’re living in an age in Australia where we have, in proportion to our population, one of the highest abortion rates in the Western world,” she said.
“We live in a state, Victoria, which has absolutely no protection whatsoever for unborn children, right up to birth.
“And these people are complaining that the matter is raised at times of election.
“Politicians make the laws.
“Tragically, it was politicians in the Victorian Parliament that did away with our abortion laws and left the unborn completely without protection.
“And in the federal Parliament, politicians have control over federal government funding of abortions.”