The state of Australia’s abortion laws: risk of jail is very real

Erica Millar for The Conversation writes:

Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic, flawed piece of legislation inherited from Victorian England.

Unlawful abortion” is punishable by up to 10 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.

Also 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.

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

Abortion remains a doctor’s choice in several jurisdictions. Abortions are generally costly, and one in three women find it difficult or very difficult to finance them. Law repeal is therefore one of many changes necessary to ensure better abortion access.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/the-state-of-australias-abortion-laws-risk-of-jail-is-very-real?

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