Qld march for abortion

Wednesday, August 14, 1991

Qld march for abortion

By Anna McCormack

BRISBANE — For the first time in a decade, abortion activists are about to take to the streets here. On August 17, the Women's Abortion Campaign will lead a march from Parliament House calling on the state government to remove abortion laws from the criminal code.

A rally following the march will be addressed by Senator Margaret Reynolds and representatives of the women's movement and trade unions. Entertainment will be provided by Megan Redfern and jazz/blues singer Leah Cotterell.

Last time WAC and its supporters took to the streets was in 1980 against the threat of the National Party government's Pregnancy Termination Control Bill, which was defeated on the floor of the house in the only such reverse ever suffered by the Bjelke-Petersen government. Government MPs crossed the floor after a strong community campaign that included pickets, rallies, marches, delegations, public statements and workplace and public meetings.

Now, under a Labor government, the threat is that, without community pressure, ALP policy on abortion rights will not be carried out. ALP policy clearly commits a Labor government to removing sections of the criminal code outlawing abortion. Yet Premier Wayne Goss says abortion is not on his government's agenda.

WAC's re-formation last April reflects widespread opinion that pressure must be applied to the government if women's rights are to be recognised.

Some prominent women in the Labor Party have pressed women's groups to go soft on abortion in the interests of the Goss government. Threats, overt and covert, have been made against funding of women's organisations and services.

WAC has resisted these pressures, and is encouraging supporters of women's abortion rights to join the march and rally on August 17. Further information is available by phoning 844 4523 or 369 6399.

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