‘We are sorry’: PM leads apology to Thalidomide survivors

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued a national apology to all Australians affected by the “thalidomide tragedy”.

Wednesday’s statement in the House of Representatives came 50 years after the global pharmaceutical disaster that caused distress, disability and death for so many families.

There are 146 known registered thalidomide survivors in Australia, although the exact number affected by the morning sickness drug in the 1950s that caused birth defects is unknown.

Babies were born with deformities including shortened limbs, blindness, deafness or malformed internal organs.

Many women miscarried or lost their newborns soon after birth.

A national apology was one of the recommendations from a Senate report into thalidomide that was handed down in 2019.

The report found if the government at the time had acted more quickly when thalidomide was linked to birth defects, 20 per cent of survivors may not have been affected.

In November 1961, when the link was established, federal and state governments took no action to ban the importation or sale of the drug.

“Today as we express our sorrow and regret, we also acknowledge the inescapable historical facts,” Albanese said.

McManus, the director of Thalidomide Group Australia, said the formal apology on behalf of the government had been a long time coming.

“We have just dragged federal governments [to issue an apology] kicking and screaming like naughty boys out of the sandpit,” she said.

[Ed:  Way overdue and shouldn’t sorry mean we won’t do it again? If the government acted now to stop the sex change industry in its tracks they could could save a lot of young people from this current ‘global pharmaceutical disaster’.]

Source: ‘We are sorry’: PM leads apology to Thalidomide survivors

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