NSW Parliament must decriminalise abortion without further delay

NSW Parliament must decriminalise abortion without further delay

The NSW Legislative Council must remove abortion from the Crimes Act by passing the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 without further amendment or delay, the Human Rights Law Centre has told a parliamentary inquiry.

Edwina MacDonald, a Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, said it is unacceptable that abortion is still an offence under NSW law.

“The current laws are archaic and change is long overdue. It is unacceptable that, in 2019, women still fear prosecution when accessing an abortion and we are still treated like we are incapable of making decisions about our bodies and lives. 

“Passing this Bill will demonstrate that the NSW Parliament respects women as competent decision-makers over their bodies and that it is committed to women’s health, safety and equality.”

The Human Rights Law Centre has flagged a number of concerns with unnecessary amendments made in the Legislative Assembly last week and urged NSW Health to work with health and medical bodies to monitor the impact of these amendments.

“Every person in NSW should be able to access affordable, impartial and confidential reproductive healthcare services, including abortion. It is critical that this Bill is passed and that the Government monitor the impact of the amendments made in the Legislative Assembly last week to ensure they don’t undermine access to safe and high quality reproductive healthcare,” said MacDonald.

Read the Human Rights Law Centre’s submission to the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues here.

 The NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues is conducting an inquiry into the Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill. It will conduct hearings on 14 and 15 August, and report back to the Legislative Council on 20 August.

 The Human Rights Law Centre will brief the Committee on 15 August 2019 at 9am.

Media contact:

Michelle Bennett, Communications Director: 0419 100 519