AUSTRALIA – A reproductive rights framework supporting law reform on termination of pregnancy in the Northern Territory of Australia

Against a background of advocacy and action by academics, health and legal professionals, and members of the public, in 2014 to 2015 we undertook a collaborative project funded by Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University on women’s health and law in the Northern Territory (NT). We gained research ethics permission to analyse over 5,000 cases of surgical termination of pregnancy, and some of that data is presented here. We undertook a literature review, examined the compliance of the NT legislation with international human rights obligations, and held a forum to discuss local issues viewed through the lens of women’s reproductive health rights. This included consideration of the availability of early termination by the medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. Following the project, we continued to engage in local advocacy which came to fruition with legislative reform in July 2017.

AUSTRALIA – High Court of Australia upholds right to safe access zones

On 10 April 2019, the High Court of Australia rejected a challenge by two anti-abortionists to the validity of Victoria and Tasmania’s safe access zone laws. The laws put an end to the harmful and distressing harassment and intimidation of women outside reproductive health clinics. The Human Rights Law Centre and Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic, represented by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, both intervened in the case to defend Victoria’s laws as necessary to ensure women and … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – “I’m glad you’re no longer a doctor”: a personal story

I’m 21, fresh out of journalism school, starting my first job – a junior reporter in a radio newsroom in a small New Zealand town, still wearing my university op-shop clothes… Since I’m new in this town I don’t even have a GP, so I make an appointment at the local medical centre. The pregnancy is confirmed. I’m too scared to ask any questions, so I leave the doctor’s office and make my way to … Continued

AUSTRALIA – Good news and bad news

Good News: On 10 April, the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) reports, in a landmark decision, the High Court confirmed that women have the right to safely and privately access reproductive healthcare without being accosted and intimidated.

Bad news: In the last week of March 2019, the Tabbot Foundation closed down. The cost of running the service, in a country where grants, government subsidies and benefactors do not exist for such things, was too much.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Abortion law ready for reform

The Hon. Tammy Franks (Green Party): “I rise today to speak about a woman’s right to choose, to say let’s have a conversation about abortion law reform. “I introduce this bill because our current abortion law, which was written in 1969 and was once progressive and leading the nation, is no longer fit for purpose. It acts as a barrier to the provision of best health care, … [especially] for women living in rural and … Continued

© 2016 International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion.

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