In December 2016, the Northern Territory Government published a Discussion Paper that contains various proposals to reform abortion laws in the Territory. The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) welcomes this opportunity to comment on the proposed reforms. The HRLC … Continued
In Victoria, Australia, abortion was decriminalised in October 2008, bringing the law in line with clinical practice and community attitudes. However, according to interviews with 19 abortion service providers from a range of health care settings and geographic locations in the state in 2014-15, while abortion law reform was a positive event, it was perceived to have changed little about the provision of abortion.
A review of a journal article published on 28 September 2016 points out that women in Australia face serious barriers to safe, affordable abortions with medical abortion pills, while the pills for a home abortion are easy to find on Facebook.
On 26 August 2016, a report of the bipartisan committee of the Queensland Parliament inquiring into abortion law reform in the state was released. The committee found itself unable to make a recommendation that the Pyne bill be passed by Parliament as “it failed to address a number of important policy issues and to achieve a number of its own stated objectives”.
Two strories: The Tabbot Foundation safely provided their first 1,000 medical abortions through their telephone abortion service on 9 August, just 300 days after their launch. And, access to medical abortion pills is limited in Australia by the fact that relatively few general practitioners (GPs) offer the service, and some young women, particularly in rural areas, are still not even aware they may use the pills instead of having a surgical abortion.
On 11 August, New South Wales Green MP, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, gave the second reading speech for the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Upper House of the New South Wales (NSW) parliament. It is the first abortion law reform bill in NSW history. The text of the bill and explanatory notes can be found here.
Independent Queensland MP Rob Pyne has tabled a private member’s bill calling for abortion to be removed from the state’s criminal code.Public hearings to discuss the bill are due to be held across the state in the coming months, with the committee reporting back to the state parliament with its findings and recommendations by 26 August. Both major parties have already said they would allow their MPs a conscience vote on the issue.
The Tabbot Foundation was first launched in Tasmania and is now moving to become a registered charity to ensure the service is sustained into the future. The Foundation’s website averages 120 hits a day, sometimes generates up to 90 calls a day and consults with between 30 and 40 patients each week.
The service, launched eight months ago, has so far provided more than 850 medical terminations, with many of its referrals coming from GPs.
The Green Party has pledged to make it safer, cheaper and easier for Australian women to get abortions in a $15 million election commitment, including support for the decriminalisation of abortion at state level and cutting out-of-pocket expenses through a review of rebates.