05 August 2019
The best outcomes in women’s reproductive health care are achieved when abortions are treated as a health matter not a crime, and when women’s right to privacy and autonomy in decisions about their care is protected. Getting an abortion has been a criminal offence since 1900 – a time when women couldn’t vote or run for Parliament. It is only court interpretations of what is an ‘unlawful’ abortion that enable this medical procedure to take place, but the lack of clarity in the law stigmatises women and discourages doctors and facilities from providing services.
The threat of conviction occurred in two recent cases and women and doctors have been calling for abortions to be regulated as medical procedures. NSW is the only place in the country that has not decriminalised abortion and this week I introduced a bill to modernise our laws based on legislation passed by Queensland last year which came out of an extensive law reform commission process. The bill has 15 cross party sponsors – more than any introduced in NSW Parliament’s history. My speech: HERE
Debate will begin in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday and I hope that all members take the opportunity to protect women’s reproductive rights. I’ve written in The Guardian about misinformation and exaggeration that does not help address the real issues: HERE and the Sydney Morning Herald editorial summarises this misdirection: HERE
Thank you to all those who’ve contacted me in support of this reform – there have been too many to get back to everyone individually!
Join me at the rally in support 8-9am outside NSW Parliament tomorrow Tuesday 6 August: HERE