The NSW Parliament must listen to the people of New South Wales and pass the bill to decriminalise abortion without further delay.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 will be back before the Legislative Council today and voted on in the coming days. The bill passed the Legislative Assembly on 8 August 2019.
The overwhelming majority of people living in NSW support abortion reform, according to a poll commissioned by NSW Pro-Choice Alliance. The poll, published earlier this month, showed more than 77 per cent of people in NSW think abortion should be decriminalised.
Edwina MacDonald, Sydney Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, urged the Legislative Council to pass the bill without delay.
“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. The amendments that have been proposed in the Legislative Council to date are clearly designed to frustrate women’s reproductive freedom,” 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, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519