Kamala Emanuel

Campaigning for a woman right’s to choose in Ireland has stepped up since the announcement of the date and wording of a referendum on changing the constitution to allow abortion.

The referendum, to be held on May 25, will ask voters whether to repeal the section of the Irish constitution that bans abortion. If passed, it would allow parliament to make laws to regulate the procedure.

Participants in the 1978 Brisbane IWD rally led the march

Over 300 people took part in the Brisbane/Meanjin International Women's Day rally and march at Emma Miller Place on March 10.

As women and their allies around the world prepare to strike, rally and march on International Women’s Day, abortion rights are once again on the agenda in many countries.

Up to 100 people gathered outside Queensland state parliament to put the incoming government on notice that opposition to the Adani coal mine will be sustained until the project has been defeated.

The August 14 publication of a NSW local court ruling earlier in the year has again shone light on the state’s anti-abortion laws.

A 30-year-old woman was found guilty of attempting abortion and sentenced to a 3-year good behaviour bond. The court record describes the circumstances, but leaves important questions unanswered.

Peace activists are planning a court support solidarity action with Jim and Franz Dowling, Tim Webb, and Andy Paine as the group faces court on July 19.

They will appear before the Brisbane magistrate’s court on charges related to the March 1 action in which a sword was removed from a war memorial and shaped into a gardening tool. The group are members of the Catholic worker movement.

In a move similar to the one that preceded abortion law reform in Victoria and Tasmania, Queensland Attorney-General and justice minister Yvette D’Ath has referred abortion to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC). It has been tasked with drafting legislation to modernise abortion law. The current laws date back to 1899 and have not been amended since.

Twenty-five abortion rights protesters picketed in central Brisbane on June 28 to demand decriminalisation of abortion. In peak-hour traffic, they walked into a pedestrian intersection, chanting and waving placards and urging motorists to honk their horns in support of abortion rights.

The Supreme Court of Victoria handed down its judgement on March 21, quashing the appeal of an anti-abortion protester who had been convicted for displaying images of aborted foetuses.

Michelle Fraser, an anti-abortion protester, had displayed placards of aborted foetuses with anti-abortion slogans, outside the Melbourne Fertility Clinic, in February 2013. In 2014, she was convicted of displaying obscene images.

On March 22, the day after the NT parliament legislated to decriminalise abortion (see page 4), doctors in Queensland called on the state government to follow suit.

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