Rob Pyne to rally with pro-choice activists this November

MATTHEW WOTHERSPOON

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Unlike other states and territories, Queensland and New South Wales are the only two states where abortion is still criminalised. Source: Women’s Abortion Rights Campaign.

Hundreds of pro-choice activists will descend on Queensland’s Parliament House this November, to push for new laws that will remove abortion from the Queensland Criminal Code.

The Women’s Abortion Right Campaign Brisbane organised the rally following Independent MP Rob Pyne’s decision to submit the Abortion Law Reform Bill to the Queensland Parliament in May of this year.

Mr Pyne said the ‘Abortion Law Reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill’ is a step towards a more progressive legal system.

“This Bill is a straight decriminalisation bill, removing the risk of prosecution for the medical teams and women,” Mr Pyne said.

“Our current legislation was created in 1899, and a lot has changed since then.”

“This Bill has academic, medical and community support from all across the state.”

In Queensland, abortions are only considered lawful if performed to avoid serious harm to the pregnant woman’s physical and mental health.

If performed unlawfully, the person who provides the termination, the woman herself, and anyone who assists in the procedure is guilty of a crime and liable to imprisonment, under the Criminal Code Act 1899 (QLD).

Member of The Women’s Abortion Right Campaign Brisbane, Ms Anna McCormack says decriminalising abortion would help improve access to abortion services for women in Queensland.

“It would improve access to abortion services, especially for particular groups of women: young women, poor women, women from rural and regional areas, women who have barriers in getting accurate, up-to-date information about abortion provision in Queensland,” Ms McCormack said.

“Currently, because abortion is criminalised, it’s very difficult to get an abortion through public hospitals,”

“Most women have to go to private abortion clinics that are located only along Queensland’s east coast so, for rural and regional women, travel is an additional burden both in time and cost,” Ms McCormack said.

The rally is set to be held next week on Thursday, November 3 at 12:30pm in front of Queensland Parliament House.

To find out more about the rally, visit the Women’s Abortion Rights Campaign Brisbane on Facebook.

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