SECOND READING OF ABORTION LAW REFORM BILL

Dr. Mehreen Faruqi delivered the second reading of Abortion Law Reform Bill and has formally introduced the bill to NSW Parliament. Watch the second read speech below:

"While incredibly common, abortion remains in a grey zone in the law and is not fully mainstream like other medical procedures. It is not routinely provided by public hospitals. Relatively few committed doctors perform these procedures, and mainly in the private sector. This uncertainty results in difficulties with access and cost, especially in regional and rural New South Wales. I would be very surprised if there were a single person in this Chamber without a close family member or friend who has had an abortion—whether they know about it or not.

And that, of course, is part of the problem. The criminalisation of abortion leads to its ongoing stigmatisation. People do not like to talk about it. There is a deep shame in the procedure. This should not be the case. Stigmatising people leads inevitably to social divisions, and we see this again and again in New South Wales with the ongoing harassment, abuse and intimidation of patients outside reproductive health clinics. As part of our reforms to abortion law, we must deal with this ongoing risk to the safety and wellbeing of patients who only want medical privacy. I will discuss this in more detail later."

Read Dr. Faruqi's speech here.


ABORTION LAW REFORM BILL

Dr Mehreen Faruqi has introduced the first-ever bill to decriminalise abortion and provide safe access zones around clinics in NSW.

The Abortion Law Reform Bill has gone through an extensive consultation process with key legal and health practitioners, and has the support of many professional stakeholders, individuals, and organisations.

The Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016:

  • Repeals sections 82-84 of the Crimes Act, relating to abortion offences.
  • Provides for a 150m safe access zone around abortion clinics and service providers to ensure a patient’s right to medical privacy.
  • Requires doctors to disclose conscientious objection at the start of the consultation and refer patients to another doctor who does not have such an objection or to the local Women’s Health NSW centre.

Full text of the bill is available here.

We know these changes have the overwhelming support of the community, regardless of age, gender, location and political affiliation. Please click here to read the first comprehensive opinion polling on abortion conducted by the Greens NSW.

Download the Factsheet ‘The Need for a Greens Bill’ HERE.

Download the Factsheet ‘Explanatory Note on the Abortion Law Reform Bill’ HERE.

To have your say and provide feedback, please email Mehreen’s office HERE or otherwise contact us through other means.

You can follow the ongoing Greens campaign to decriminalise abortion on our Facebook page.

Factsheets have been reproduced below: