A new campaign to '
The bid to ‘decriminalise’ abortion and take it out of the Crimes Act implies that abortion is illegal in NSW, that women who have abortions are criminals, and in the words of Family Planning NSW’s medical director Deborah Bateson, cannot ‘access services without fear of prosecution’. But this is not the case.
Abortion is already legal in NSW to preserve a woman’s life, physical or mental health. As one of the most common medical procedures in Australia, with 1 in 3 women experiencing an abortion, and 20,000-30,000 performed in NSW each year, it is also readily accessible.
Like law reform in Victoria and Queensland, the laws being campaigned for in NSW would effectively
The campaign to
Abortion is not ‘like any other health procedure’ and to suggest otherwise is incredibly insensitive to all women who have made what is widely accepted to be a profoundly difficult decision.
The question we need to ask is why and whether we want abortion to be available for social, non-health related reasons? Do we really want to
Such a legal regime seems far too nonchalant for a practice that ends the life of a developing human being, carries significant risks for
We know that many women seek abortions because they feel like they have no other choice – because they have been coerced by a partner or face some other form of domestic violence, because they are overwhelmed by study, career or family pressures, or because they lack the financial or emotional support necessary to raise a child.
Instead of ardent efforts to 'decriminalise' abortion in NSW, imagine if the same passion was directed towards addressing some of these issues in order to ensure real choice and support for women?
Perhaps then, we would have a truly modern, progressive and pro-woman society.