The New South Wales Parliament has a historic opportunity to bring its 119 year old abortion laws into the 21st Century this week.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 will be introduced into the Legislative Council today and voted on in the coming days. The bill passed the Legislative Assembly with some amendments on 8 August 2019.
Edwina MacDonald, Sydney Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, urged the Legislative Council to pass the bill without delay or any further amendments.
“This is not a complex issue. This is about better health outcomes for women. This is about respecting the right of every single one of us to control our bodies and lives. Now is the time for members of the NSW Parliament to get on the right side of history and vote in support of women’s health and equality,” said MacDonald.
“This bill has been a long time coming. It presents a strong model that is endorsed by the leading medical and legal experts. It should be passed without delay and without any further amendments,” said MacDonald.
“It is unacceptable that, in 2019, women still fear prosecution when accessing an abortion and are still treated like they are incapable of making decisions about their bodies and lives. The values of 1900 should not dictate a person’s right to access the healthcare they need in 2019,” said MacDonald.
New South Wales is one of three states that still uses the criminal laws to regulate abortion, along with South Australia and Western Australia, however it is the only jurisdiction in Australia to have never reformed its abortion laws.
Michelle Bennett, Communications Director: 0419 100 519