ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa (ALRANZ) congratulates the Australian state of Queensland on successfully reforming their abortion laws.
The Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 allows abortion on request up to 22 weeks gestation. Abortions are allowed after 22 weeks if two medical practitioners agree it is appropriate under the circumstances.
The bill passed 50 votes to 41 on a conscience vote that saw several members of the LNP voting with the majority.
“ALRANZ congratulates Queensland on achieving this milestone in the struggle for reproductive rights for women and pregnant people. The new legislation will go far toward treating abortion as a health issue, and acknowledging the right of pregnant people to decide for themselves whether to receive abortion care,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.
“Queensland has taken a comprehensive approach in their legislation. The new law establishes safe zones around places where abortions are provided, and requires health practitioners who refuse treatment to refer patients to someone who will give them treatment.”
“Now that Queensland has reformed its abortion laws, only in New South Wales is abortion still a criminal offence.”
In May, the Republic of Ireland amended its constitution to remove a section that prevented their legislature from legalising abortion.
In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.
The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.
ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion. Under New Zealand’s abortion laws, two certifying consultants must approve every abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act. Those grounds do not include rape, nor the most common reasons cited overseas: contraception failure and the inability to support a child.
Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion on request.