Abortion Debate in Australia Has a New Element: Women in Power

Abortion Debate in Australia Has a New Element: Women in Power

By Rick Rojas
Oct. 15, 2018

BRISBANE, Australia — Activists in the Australian state of Queensland have tried for decades to scrap a criminal code from 1899 that makes having an abortion an offense punishable with prison time, and for decades their efforts have failed.

But as the state Parliament again considers whether to decriminalize abortion, advocates say this time may be different: Women will be leading the debate.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/world/australia/australia-abortion-vote-women.html

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Australia – Abortion laws that once led to police raids and arrests may be scrapped

Abortion laws that once led to police raids and arrests may be scrapped

By Allyson Horn
Oct 15, 2018

Thirty-three years ago Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen ordered police raids on Queensland's abortion clinics because terminating a pregnancy was illegal.

Those laws have not changed for more than 100 years, but this week MPs will be asked to make abortion legal.

In 1985 police burst through the doors of the Greenslopes Fertility Control Clinic — one of Queensland's only abortion facilities.

Continued: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-16/abortion-laws-may-be-scrapped-in-queensland/10373646

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Australia – Doctors, nurses and pollies march in support of abortion reform

Doctors, nurses and pollies march in support of abortion reform

By Alison Brown
14 October 2018

Doctors, nurses and politicians from all sides of politics were among the 1000-strong crowd who braved Sunday showers to march through Brisbane in support of proposed changes to Queensland’s abortion laws.

The laws, which will be put to the Queensland Parliament next week, allow for abortion up to 22 weeks gestation, provide safe access zones around clinics, and require doctors who conscientiously object to refer patients to another medical professional.

Continued: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/doctors-nurses-and-pollies-march-in-support-of-abortion-reform-20181014-p509lu.html

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‘You were shamed, punished’: Queensland changes its mind on abortion

'You were shamed, punished': Queensland changes its mind on abortion
Next week the state will likely decriminalise pregnancy termination. It’s been a long time coming

by Ben Smee
Sat 13 Oct 2018

“They make me feel like a criminal,” says Brisbane woman Zena Mason. “I’ve been called a murderer for what I did. I have had the most vulgar comments. People seem to think I woke up one day and decided to have an abortion at 20 weeks.”

Next week, Queensland is expected to repeal the 119-year-old section of the state’s criminal code that makes abortion illegal. For more than 40 years, debate about termination of pregnancy in the state has been often emotional and vicious. Women like Mason wrestle with a grim choice, then find out they’re breaking the law.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/14/you-were-shamed-punished-queensland-changes-its-mind-on-abortion

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Renewed push to change ‘discriminatory’ and ‘inadequate’ abortion laws in South Australia

Renewed push to change 'discriminatory' and 'inadequate' abortion laws in South Australia
By Rebecca Puddy

Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018

A push to repeal South Australia's abortion law is underway, with a coalition lobbying state parliamentarians to remove abortion from the state's crimes act.

The South Australian Abortion Action Coalition wrote to politicians last month, after securing a commitment from over 20 professional and community organisations to support the repeal of the law.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-11/renewed-push-to-remove-abortion-from-crime-law-in-sa/10360138

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Victoria legalised abortion 10 years ago – what will it take in NSW and Queensland?

Victoria legalised abortion 10 years ago – what will it take in NSW and Queensland?
A decade on, Victoria still doesn’t have enough publicly provided, accessible abortion services

Kathleen Maltzahn
Tue 9 Oct 2018

It took more than 40 years of feminist activism, three days and nights of parliamentary debate and hours-long speeches by religious right MPs railing against decriminalisation for abortion in Victoria to be taken out of the crimes act. Ten years on, this is still a powerful victory. Victoria is one of only three Australian jurisdictions where abortion is legal, despite strong community support. Given recent failures to decriminalise in Queensland and New South Wales, Victoria’s success is a reminder that change is possible.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/oct/09/victoria-legalised-abortion-10-years-ago-what-will-it-take-in-nsw-and-queensland

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Queensland abortion legalisation to be put to conscience vote

Queensland abortion legalisation to be put to conscience vote
Legislation decriminalising abortion expected to pass parliament after Liberal National party lets MPs choose

Ben Smee
Tue 9 Oct 2018

Queensland is expected to pass legislation to decriminalise abortion next week, after the opposition Liberal National party decided to allow its MPs a conscience vote.

The decision, announced after a lengthy party room meeting on Tuesday afternoon, will pave the way for the removal of abortion from the 1899 criminal code.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/09/queensland-abortion-legalisation-to-be-put-to-conscience-vote

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Australia – Abortion clinic protests should be allowed even if women’s dignity hurt: lawyer

Abortion clinic protests should be allowed even if women's dignity hurt: lawyer
Anti-abortion campaigners tell the high court that safe zones breach their political freedom

Paul Karp
Tue 9 Oct 2018

Anti-abortion campaigners should be allowed to protest outside clinics, even if it harms the dignity of women entering the clinics or hurts their feelings, lawyers for anti-abortion protesters argued today.

On Tuesday the high court held a hearing into anti-abortion campaigners’ constitutional challenge against Tasmanian and Victorian laws prohibiting protests in “safe zones” outside abortion clinics.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/abortion-clinic-protests-should-be-allowed-even-if-womens-dignity-hurt-lawyer

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Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia’s high court

Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia's high court
Campaigners challenging Victorian and Tasmanian laws argue they stifle free speech

Melissa Davey
Mon 8 Oct 2018

The validity of the safe-access-zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania that prevent anti-abortion protesters from harassing women seeking medical treatment will be challenged before the high court on Tuesday.

The Victorian case has been brought by anti-abortion campaigner Kathleen Clubb, who was the first person to be convicted of breaking Victoria’s safe-access-zone laws in 2016. The laws mean anti-abortion protesters cannot protest within 150m of health and fertility clinics. Clubb was fined $5,000 for communicating about abortion to a woman attending an East Melbourne medical clinic. Clubb’s conduct was found to be “reasonably likely to cause distress or anxiety”.

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/abortion-clinic-safe-access-zones-face-challenge-in-australias-high-court

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Australia – Tough passage for abortion bill

Tough passage for abortion bill

Jared Owens
October 8, 2018

Queensland Labor’s ambitious bid to decriminalise abortion and ban protesters targeting pregnant women outside clinics could be thwarted at a meeting of Liberal National MPs today.

Although the government commands 48 of parliament’s 93 seats, some Labor MPs are ­expected to abstain or vote against the bill, which would allow terminations on request up to 22 weeks’ gestation.

Continued: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/tough-passage-for-abortion-bill/news-story/fd22397b0eb7aae4601a4ca9bf7fc79d?nk=d2feef8765d9eded8a6860bac74e0889-1539123256

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