Legalise abortion in Queensland: countdown to parliamentary vote

You can support the rally by:
* coming along and bringing your friends
* start planning now to bring a group from your school, uni, workplace, organisation or your friends (bring a banner or sign if you can
* sharing this video (also on YouTube)
* sharing the Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/242275339789152
* send a message of support to: brisbane@greenleft.org.au for publication
* you can directly boost (i.e. pay for advertising) the Facebook event (Go to the FB event > Click on the ". . ." next to the share button > then choose "Get more responses")
* donate to Green Left so we can pay to advertise this video (Please donate via: BSB: 06 4002 Acct: 1050 1236 with the note "Abortion rally".)
* contact your parliamentarian to say you want them to make abortion legal

Rallies for abortion rights will be held in Cairns and Brisbane the weekend before legislation will be put to parliament that would take abortion out of the Queensland criminal code.

Cairns rally:
9am, Sat 13 October
Cairns Esplanade (corner Shields Sts)
Attend on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/472258489938660
The rally has been organised by Pro Choice Cairns.

Brisbane rally:
11am, Sun 14 October
Queens Gardens (corner George & Elizabeth Sts, Brisbane)
Attend on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/242275339789152

The rally has been organised by Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose and Fair Agenda and is endorsed by Pro Choice Queensland.

News updates:
 

Sunday October 14

Wednesday October 10

Tuesday October 9

  • The LNP announces their members will be allowed a conscience vote. This makes it much more likely that the bill will be passed. It is still important to come along to the rally for a huge show of support for the abortion rights.

Friday October 5

  • The Health Committee's report into the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 is now live and they've recommended the Bill be passed by Parliament! This is another major step forward towards removing abortion from the Criminal Code. Parliament is expected to vote on the laws in just under 2 weeks' time. You can read the report here.
  • Kamala Emanuel argues the case for law reform here

Tuesday October 2

  • Teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, domestic violence prevention professionals and women's organisations have signed a letter asking Queensland's parliament to be on the "right side of history" this month and vote for abortion to be decriminalised in the state.

Friday September 28

  • Another picket for abortion rights was held in Brisbane. See picture here

 

Messages of support

Dr Suzanne Belton (Senior research fellow, Graduate School of Health Practice, Charles Darwin University)
I am sending a message to Queenslanders, from Northern Territorians, in wishing you all the best for your law reform that I feel very sure will happen. It is simply outrageous that this law from 1899 is still in your statute books. It needs to be repealed; it is wrong. It is 2018 and abortion [today] is safe [but] when those laws were written abortion was not practiced as we know it today in any way and society was entirely different... It is really important that abortion is freely accessible for all kinds of women, women who have got money and people who haven't got money, women who are in the city and women who live in rural and remote areas... The best way to provide that is in the public health system. We have that in the NT. We fought for that and I think Queensland women deserve the same, to have their tax payers money and their public hospitals providing public health services or in primary health care... Abortion should not be in the criminal act. No doctor or health provider or woman should fear being sent to jail or appearing in court for a health procedure... it should be decriminalised and it should be made legal.
(Excerpts from a video message published by Pro Choice Cairns)

Michael Berkman (Greens member for Maiwar)
I encourage everyone to get out and support the abortion rights rally on 14 October. We need to send the strongest possible message to the Queensland Parliament that they must pass this Bill. My position is unambiguously pro-choice, and I believe reform on this issue is long overdue. That is a position the Greens and I have taken to many elections, and it’s a position we articulated in the 2017 State election in which I was elected by the voters of Maiwar. The Greens and I have long advocated for changes to bring Queensland's abortion law out of the 1800s and I look forward to voting in support of the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s bill.

Mehreen Faruqi (Greens senator NSW)
It's 2018 and abortion remains a crime in both NSW and Queensland. That is utterly unacceptable... We are so close to making our laws pro-choice... There is huge momentum for change. We cannot let the nasty scare campaigns of anti-choice misogynists dictate the rights we have over our own bodies. We must demand unambiguous legal abortion rights without fear. Overwhelmingly the community is with us and politicians must listen...
(Excerpts from a video message published by Pro Choice Cairns)

Sam Pidgeon (president of the Queensland Teachers Union)
We think [medical professionals] should be able to go about their work unhindered by the spectre of criminal charges, and we take the view as a union that women are seeking a health service and won't ever be able to take up an equal role in society if they can't make safe and legal decisions about their fertility.
(Reported by Buzzfeed News)

Kamala Emanuel (Socialist Alliance)
Mass mobilisation is the only way we ever win lasting and progressive social change and abortion rights is no exception. The antis are organised and mobilising and we have to demonstrate in vast numbers that we care about making abortion legal and accessible for Queensland women and non-binary people. The rally on October 14 gives us the last chance to do that on a big scale before abortion law reform is finally debated in Queensland parliament. Something that one in three of us might need should not be a crime.

Jackie Trad (Deputy Premier)
I have been fighting for the reproductive rights of Queensland women my entire adult life. I am incredibly proud that I am part of a Labor Government with equal representation of women, which has made decriminalisation a priority in this Parliament. I believe abortion is a health matter - not a criminal offence – and should be removed from the Queensland Criminal Code. These incredibly difficult decisions are a matter between a woman and her health practitioner. I remain, as ever, committed to playing my part as a senior member of the Palaszczuk Labor Government in decriminalising abortion here in our state, because Queensland women - indeed all women - deserve access to safe abortion services and full agency over their own bodies.