Why is the current law on abortion a problem?


The current laws restrict doctors from providing a full range of reproductive health services and make it difficult for women to access the care they need. Criminalisation can make the process of accessing abortion expensive, time consuming, stressful and in some cases, completely inaccessible in NSW. The current law generates stigma, confusion and a fear of prosecution, and can discourage doctors and public providers from providing this reproductive healthcare service.

Criminalisation has a particularly devastating impact on women from disadvantaged or remote communities who lack the financial means to pay for an abortion, or to travel the distance required to access one. At the moment, women facing violence or homelessness often need to seek urgent funding (ranging from $450 to thousands of dollars) from charities, friends or family to access an abortion. Sometimes, they have to travel interstate to access an abortion[1]

[1] Based on clinical experience from Family Planning NSW and Women’s Health NSW. For more on interstate travel, please see: Black K, Douglas H, de Costa C. Women’s access to abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation for fetal chromosomal abnormalities: Views and experiences of doctors in New South Wales and Queensland. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2015; 55(2):144-8. DOI: 10.1111/ajo.12305.