Children by Choice says access to legal, safe and timely abortion care is essential

Abortion rights rally in Brisbane in 2018. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

The following statement of support for reproductive rights and access to legal, safe, timely and compassionate abortion was issued by Children by Choice on May 10.

The statement’s partners are: Women with Disabilities Australia; Women’s Health Victoria; Reproductive choice Australia; National Foundation for Australian Women; Sphere: National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care; Iris Education, Ending Violence Against Women Queensland; The Centre for Women and Co; and Respect Inc.

***

We believe that the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade and threatening access to legal abortion in the US would be detrimental for millions of women, girls and anyone who may need to seek an abortion. Any action to go backwards in reproductive rights is against the global trend of making access to abortion easier and more secure.

Abortion is an essential aspect of reproductive healthcare and rights. Access to abortion has been determined by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and others, to be a basic human right.

While all jurisdictions in Australia have laws providing for legal access to abortion and safe access to clinics; barriers to abortion access in Australia remain and are based on how governments have implemented this healthcare within public health systems.

Abortion is yet to be properly decriminalised in South Australia and Western Australia. We call on the SA and WA governments to finally remove abortion from their criminal statute books.

Access to this vital health service should not depend on your postcode, class, race, gender or ability.

We call upon state, territory and the federal government to embed this essential reproductive healthcare into our public health services, to ensure everyone who needs it can access compassionate and timely care.

Each person knows what the best choice is for themselves, for their health, their body and their future. They should be able to feel safe and in control of their bodies and be free to decide whether and when to have a child.

A person who needs to end their pregnancy shouldn’t have to travel hundreds of kilometres from home, or cross state borders or take on medical debt, to access the healthcare they need and is capable of being provided locally within public healthcare systems. Healthcare professionals should be able to practice in safe workplaces to provide their patients with the best care possible — without fear of criminal charges or concerns around public retribution.

We stand in solidarity with healthcare professionals who provide abortion care and every person who has accessed an abortion, or may need to in the future.

We support access to legal, safe, timely, compassionate healthcare and protections for reproductive rights in conjunction with supporting bodily autonomy and reproductive justice. 

[Organisations and individuals can sign on .]