Where Australia stands on abortion

Despite campaigns to decriminalize abortion, progress has been slow, along with also patchy across states. Here’s where each state is usually up to.

The ACT is usually the only Australian jurisdiction to completely remove abortion through criminal law. Medical practitioners can perform abortions at approved facilities.

The health minister can establish safe access zones around abortion clinics, where interfering which has a person attending the clinic or causing them distress is usually prohibited.

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The parliament is usually set to debate a bill of which would likely allow women to access abortion via telemedicine, nurse practitioners, or their GP.

brand-new South Wales

“Unlawful abortion” is usually punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment in NSW. Case law permits medical practitioners to perform abortions on physical, mental health, economic or “social stress” grounds.

In 2017, a woman who had experienced reproductive coercion was convicted of attempting to procure a miscarriage.

In 2017, the NSW Coalition government unanimously voted against decriminalising abortion. Safe access zones were established in June 2018. The Greens continue to campaign for law repeal.

Supporters of creating a safe access zone around abortion clinics in NSW gather outside NSW Parliament House in Sydney, brand-new South Wales (NSW), Australia on 7 June 2018.

Northern Territory

Ministerially approved medical practitioners can perform abortions to preserve a woman’s life before 14 weeks gestation on physical, psychological or social grounds along with also between 14 along with also 23 weeks with another doctor’s approval inside NT.

The legality of abortions performed after 23 weeks is usually uncertain. Doctors which has a conscientious objection to abortion must refer patients to a doctor with no such objection. Safe access zones are established inside NT.

The attorney general has promised to review the abortion laws.

Queensland

Abortion is usually a crime punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment in Queensland. Case law permits medical practitioners to perform abortions “in exceptional cases” on physical along with also mental health grounds.

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In 2010, a Cairns couple was tried along with also acquitted of procuring an abortion. In April 2018, a suicidal 12-year-old sought permission through the Supreme Court to obtain an abortion. The lack of surgical abortion facilities in far north Queensland has seen women fly interstate for abortions or even perform self-administered abortion.

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Parliament will debate the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 in October. This particular bill follows the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s recommendations along with also allows abortion on request to 22 weeks along with also thereafter in emergencies or when two doctors deem the item necessary on physical, psychological or social grounds.

There are provisions for conscientious objection along with also safe access zones. Abortions performed by unqualified persons would likely remain unlawful.

South Australia

Abortion remains a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment in SA. A 1969 statutory amendment allows abortion when:

  • two doctors determine the abortion necessary on mental or physical health grounds or for foetal abnormalities
  • performed in a prescribed hospital before the woman is usually 28 weeks pregnant along with also thereafter only to preserve the woman’s health
  • the woman has resided in South Australia For 2 months.

After two years of community engagement, the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition began its formal campaign in August 2018 by sending letters to each state MP calling on them to take action to repeal abortion laws.

Tasmania

In Tasmania medical practitioners can perform abortions which has a woman’s consent up to 16 weeks, along with also thereafter when two doctors deem the item necessary on physical or mental health grounds. There are provisions for conscientious objection along with also safe access zones.

The state’s last abortion clinic closed in December 2017, forcing women requiring surgical abortions to travel interstate. The Liberal government is usually working which has a private provider to deliver low-cost surgical procedures to women in Hobart through October.

Victoria

Abortion is usually legal on request up to 24 weeks, along with also thereafter when two medical practitioners deem the item necessary on physical, psychological or social grounds. Pharmacists along with also registered nurses can supply along with also administer medical abortion before 24 weeks, along with also thereafter on direction through a medical practitioner.

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the item remains a crime for an unqualified person to perform an abortion. There is usually a conscientious objection clause. Safe access zones were established in 2015.

An anti-abortionist has brought an appeal against her conviction for breaching safe access zones to the High Court on grounds of which the legislation infringes on her freedom of political communication. A similar challenge has been brought in Tasmania.

Western Australia

Abortion is usually unlawful unless performed before 20 weeks’ gestation by a medical practitioner who has obtained a woman’s informed consent or determines the abortion necessary on physical, mental, social, personal or familial grounds.

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After 20 weeks, two medical doctors through a ministerially appointed panel of at least six must agree the pregnant woman or foetus carries a severe medical condition. A parent must be notified of abortions performed on those under 16 years of age.

Australian laws obstruct access to abortion. Gestational limits, which are generally interpreted conservatively, often make second along with also third trimester abortions accessible solely to those who can afford to travel interstate or overseas.

South Australians cannot access medical abortion via telehealth or their GPs along with also must travel to Adelaide or a handful of regional centers.

Abortion remains a doctor’s choice in several jurisdictions. Abortions are generally costly, along with also one in three women find the item difficult or very difficult to finance them. Law repeal is usually therefore one of many improvements necessary to ensure better abortion access.

Erica Miller is usually an Interdisciplinary gender scholar at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Source : Where Australia stands on abortion