Queensland women can now legally access abortion services, with the Palaszczuk Government’s historic Termination of Pregnancy laws coming into effect today.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said for the first time since 1899, termination of pregnancy was no longer listed under the criminal code and women in Queensland finally had the right to choose.
“The decision to terminate a pregnancy is never made lightly, but from today Queensland women will legally have that choice,” Mr Miles said.
“They will no longer have to fear criminal prosecution for making a decision about their body and their health, and can feel confident knowing they will receive the support they need.
“Our hardworking doctors and nurses can do their jobs without uncertainty and can knowingly providing a full range of safe, accessible and timely reproductive services.
“Termination clinics will also be protected from protestors, with the enforcement of safe-access zones, and their workers and patients will no longer be made to feel like second-class citizens.
“From today, Queensland has entered the twenty-first century.”
Mr Miles said a helpline was up and running that both women and doctors could use for impartial advice.
“We established the women’s helpline through 13HEALTH as a support mechanism for women to find trusted information about their rights and the services available to them – we have already received number of calls,” Minister Miles said.
“We know that a number of the women who are calling the hotline are from rural and remote areas where support or information might not be a readily available.”
Queensland Health will continue to work proactively with Hospital and Health Services, industry bodies, peak agencies and private health providers to ensure there is a smooth transition as the laws commence.