Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) spoke earlier this week in response to comments from Nationals MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker, who – at an anti-abortion rally held in Queensland this past Sunday – said they would lobby Treasurer Scott Morrison to cease funding of family planning services that include abortion, both in Australia and internationally.
ALHR Women and Girls’ Rights Committee co-chair, Associate Professor Rita Shackel, said the organisation was concerned that members of the federal government appeared to be supporting the denial of access to abortion services, as well as the continued criminalisation of such services.
“Such a position is inconsistent with Austalia’s human rights obligations. Reproductive rights are recognised by international law as belonging to all women and girls everywhere and include the right to access safe and legal abortions,” she said.
Anna Kerr, ALHR Women and Girls’ Rights Committee co-chair, agreed with Associate Professor Shackel’s comments, adding that the government should be “unambiguously supporting” women and girls’ right to autonomy over their own bodies and health.