October 23, 2018
NSW lags behind on basic healthcare rights for women
Following the passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill in the Queensland Parliament this week, women in NSW are in the unfortunate position of living in the only Australian state where women are not guaranteed access to safe, legal abortions.
NSW remains the only state with abortion still criminalised.
Anna Cody, Director of Kingsford Legal Centre, said it is long overdue for NSW to amend laws that disempower women and treat them as second-class citizens when it comes to accessing basic reproductive healthcare.
“Women in NSW deserve to have access to medical services and healthcare without being treated like criminals. It’s horrifying that in 2018 a woman or her doctor could still be criminally prosecuted for seeking or performing an abortion, a procedure we know around one-third of women will access,” Ms Cody says.
For an abortion to be legal in NSW, a doctor must believe that continuing the pregnancy would “pose a serious danger to the woman’s life or physical or mental health”. The new law in Queensland decriminalises abortion and respects the right of every person to determine what healthcare is right for them in consultation with their doctor.
“We should not have laws in this state that discriminate against women. All women in NSW deserve the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies and their own reproductive health,” says Ms Cody.
“It’s clearly time for our outdated laws to be brought into line with laws in other states and territories and up to date with community standards.”