Australia: Heartbreaking 12-year-old’s abortion case at centre of decriminalisation push

OCTOBER 10, 20166:14PM

Underage girls are seeking help with unwanted pregnancies, and the law isn’t always on their side.

Liz Burke

A 12-YEAR-OLD Queensland girl’s heartbreaking abortion case is at the centre of a renewed push to decriminalise abortion across Australia.
The Rockhampton schoolgirl, identified by the courts only as “Q”, sought an abortion in April this year after becoming pregnant.

After asking for an abortion from her local general practitioner, the girl was referred to a public hospital. There, although a specialist obstetrician deemed it appropriate for her to have a termination, the health service administration applied to the Queensland Supreme Court to authorise the abortion.

That meant a lengthy litigation process that delayed the termination the girl was later found by the court to be entitled to by a month, and a whole lot of distress.

The case of Q is the focus of an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia advocating for the criminal laws in place in Queensland and New South Wales — which saw the legal system interrupt Q’s abortion — to be repealed.

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