Moves to bring abortion law changes before NSW Parliament welcomed

MOVES to end the 119-year criminalisation of abortion in NSW have been welcomed by the NSW Pro-Choice Alliance.

Alliance Chair Wendy McCarthy said that in May the Alliance signalled a commitment to have abortion removed from the NSW Crimes Act and regulated like any other health procedure.

“Decriminalising abortion in NSW has been a very long journey,” Ms McCarthy said.

“It has been a long road, most significantly for women with unintended pregnancies but also for the health, legal, political and women’s services who have fought long and hard to see this law overturned in recent decades.

“The Alliance is a collective of more than 70 organisations who began working together about 18 months ago with a focus on seeing NSW join other states in treating abortion as a healthcare issue.

“We welcome news that a Bill will be brought before the NSW Parliament that has cross party support and will overturn laws from the last century which criminalise abortion.

“Laws criminalising women and health workers are out of touch and simply not relevant in today’s world.

“In fact, it’s hard to think of any other healthcare issue that we treat in the same way as we did back in 1901.

“It is past time that NSW follow the examples of states like Queensland and Victoria by introducing sensible, modern regulation of abortion as a healthcare issue.

“Importantly, it is wonderful to see cross-party support for women and this important health issue as Parliament gets set to debate the Bill.”

The NSW Pro-Choice Alliance is led by the Women’s Electoral Lobby and includes leadership support from Family Planning NSW, Women’s Health NSW and the Human Rights Law Centre.