Endorsements for Abortion Law Reform in NSW
Below is the list of organisations that have endorsed the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 and also those organisations that support decriminalisation of abortion.
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)
RANZCOG has provided "unequivocal support" for the bill, saying:
"Whilst acknowledging the variation in community attitudes towards abortion, RANZCOG would like to provide unequivocal support for the decriminalization of abortion services in NSW and the enactment of safe access zones outside abortion clinics. RANZCOG also endorses the proposal that those health professionals who may have a conscientious objection to abortion should be required to refer the person to another health practitioner or local Women's Health Centre to enable the person to have full information about the options in relation to pregnancy."
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR)
ALHR expresses "strong support" for the bill, saying:
"Failure to provide safe, legal and accessible abortion services is a violation of fundamental human rights, as has been affirmed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC). Access to safe, legal and affordable abortion services is a personal health matter as well as a matter of sexual and reproductive health rights. On these grounds, ALHR supports the decriminalisation of abortion and the creation of exclusion zones surrounding abortion clinics as a way of protecting and promoting human rights, including the rights to non-discrimination (on the basis of gender, property or other status); not be submitted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; privacy; personal autonomy; and the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health."
NEW SOUTH WALES NURSES AND MIDWIVES ASSOCIATION (NSWNMA)
NSWNMA supports the bill, saying:
"Decriminalising abortion will protect women accessing abortions as well as health professionals, such as nurses and midwives who work in clinics where abortions are performed. Requiring a safe zone around clinics will allow women and staff to enter and leave health services where abortions are performed with privacy and dignity and free from harassment."
NSW COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES (NSWCCL)
NSWCCL "strongly support" the bill, saying:
"Abortion (administering or having) has been a criminal offence in NSW since colonization. However, since 1971 NSW case law has established that abortion is lawful in exceptional contexts where it can be established that it is necessary to preserve a woman from serious danger to her life or mental or physical health and it is not out of proportion to the danger to be averted. Having to rely on this limited defence is a deeply flawed and unsatisfactory legal position for both women and medical practitioners. The right to lawful abortion remains uncertain and limited in NSW, which generates reluctance among many practitioners to perform abortions, with serious consequences for many women."
"We urge the NSW parliamentarians to give this Bill proper and positive consideration and to support its passage through Parliament so that matters relating to abortion in NSW are treated primarily as a health rather than a criminal matter."
Family Planning NSW
Family Planning NSW supports decriminalisation of abortion, saying:
"New South Wales is one of only two remaining Australian states to retain abortion in the criminal code. It is unacceptable that women in NSW who seek an abortion, and the health professionals who assist them, should continue to be open to criminal prosecution. Abortion is a medical service and should be regulated as such under health care legislation, as is currently the case in most jurisdictions in Australia with the decision to have an abortion resting with the woman.
Reliable opinion polling consistently shows that around 80% of Australian adults support a woman’s right to choose. Given the importance of this issue to the health and rights of so many women, action to decriminalise abortion should be a priority for all political parties."
NSW TEACHERS' FEDERATION
NSW Teachers' Federation supports the bill, saying:
"The changes to the law proposed in the Bill are something the Federation and the Greens clearly agree is long overdue. The Federation is pleased to offer its support for you in this area and endorses the reform proposed in the Bill."