Abortion law in Australia: it’s time for national consistency and decriminalisation

De Costa, Caroline M., and Douglas, Heather (2015) Abortion law in Australia: it’s time for national consistency and decriminalisation. Medical Journal of Australia, 203 (9). pp. 349-350.

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[Extract] Current Australian abortion laws continue to disadvantage many women.

It is almost 7 years since abortion was decriminalised in Victoria, where a doctor can now terminate a pregnancy at up to 24 weeks with the woman’s consent, and after 24 weeks with the agreement of a second doctor. This change has not resulted in increased numbers of abortions, which have remained stable over many years.1 Earlier, in 2002, the Australian Capital Territory had removed all criminal sanctions for abortion. Abortion was decriminalised in Tasmania in 2013; here a doctor may perform an abortion at up to 16 weeks with the woman’s consent, and after 16 weeks with the additional agreement of a second doctor. In all remaining Australian jurisdictions, a patchwork of differing abortion laws operate. Only in the ACT has regulation of abortion been removed completely from criminal law.2 These legal inconsistencies have significant ramifications for the access of Australian women to abortion.

Item ID: 48575
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 1326-5377
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 23:43
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920114 Reproductive System and Disorders @ 50%
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