QLD abortion law reform enters ‘final stage’

Campaigning for abortion rights. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Pro-choice activists in Queensland say the campaign for abortion law reform is entering its “final, most important stage”.

This was the assessment of Kate Marchesi and Olivia King from Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose about the campaign to support abortion law reform measures introduced by independent state MP for Cairns, Rob Pyne.

Abortion is currently in the Queensland Crimes Code Act 1899. Pyne has moved two bills that will be voted on in Parliament on March 1. The first bill removes the provisions of the Crimes Act relating to abortion; the second imposes certain regulations on how legal abortions can be performed.

Pyne told Green Left Weekly that he respects people’s right to have different views but “surely we can all agree that this medical procedure should not be in the criminal code”.

“Nothing is ever given for free”, he said. “All rights are fought for.”

“Now we really need Queensland and Australian women to get behind this campaign so that women can have control of their own reproductive health.”

Marchesi and King told GLW that “with the vote now fast approaching it's time to build on the accomplishments made so far”.

“We need to let our MPs know just how much support there is to take abortion out of the criminal law.”

Regular pickets, organised by the recently reformed Women’s Abortion Rights Campaign (WARC), have been held throughout Brisbane calling on politicians to support the reform bills. The pickets have also sought to build support for the upcoming February 16 and March 1 rallies.

Anna McCormack from WARC told GLW that the February 16 rally will be “very significant because the [parliamentary] report [into the second of Pyne's bills] will be handed down the next day.

“So, we’d urge everybody to make an effort to get along.”

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