If you think abortion law in Victoria and Queensland is bad, you’ll be absolutely horrified by the bill currently before the South Australian Parliament that will allow abortion to full term for any reason.
The current law in SA already allows abortion to 28 weeks, and after 28 weeks to preserve the life of the mother. The law is contained within the state’s criminal code to protect women and babies (however, no one has ever been convicted of having an unlawful abortion in SA).
The Statutes Amendment (Abortion Law Reform) Bill, introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks in December last year, would completely deregulate abortion under the guise of advancing women’s rights. Alarmingly, the bill removes the oversight of doctors and the need to attend a hospital or clinic.
Other concerning characteristics of the bill include:
- 2-year jail terms and $10,000 fines for anyone who approaches a woman to offer assistance outside an abortion clinic.
- Unlike other states, where abortion has been shifted from an exemption to criminal law to a matter under health legislation, the SA Greens bill simply deletes it altogether.
- Allowing sex-selective abortions.
- Legalising the distribution of early medical abortion (eg. RU486) by people other than doctors alone, opening the way to telemedicine [the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology].
- By removing abortion from the Criminal Law Act, it will remove the safeguard of Division 18 – Concealment of Birth:
“(1) Any person who, by any secret disposition of the dead body of a child, whether the child died before, at or after its birth, endeavours to conceal the birth of the child shall be guilty of an offence and liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three years.”
This means that failing to report a birth of a child that died before, at or after birth will not be considered an offence. It follows that it will not be required to report those babies who survive the abortion, are born alive, and are then left to die.
- Remove the need for a woman seeking an abortion to be examined by two doctors (as is the case with most other abortion law in Australia). She wouldn’t need to see a doctor at all, but rather could see a nurse, midwife or pharmacist.
For more in-depth information about the bill, the South Australian Abortion Action for Women website is extremely helpful.
What can you do?
If you are a resident of South Australia, please click the link below, where you can generate emails to your MPs and sign the petition. We also encourage you to call or visit your MPs – it makes all the difference!SA Residents Petition
If you are not a resident of SA, you can still have your voice heard here:Australian residents petition
Let’s be a mighty voice on social media – flood it with messages of life! We are noticing that these abhorrent laws are causing people to rise up and say “NO!” like never before. And that’s why we’re here – to resource you with material and information to share and influence the people in your own spheres of influence. Why don’t you start by sharing this very article.
Whatever you do, take this opportunity to speak up for those who cannot.
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