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.
Nineteen doctors who are current or recent providers of abortion services in Queensland have signed a letter to the state premier calling for abortion decriminalisation to be resolved in the current term of parliament. This follows another delay in achieving legal reform after private member's bills were withdrawn earlier this year.
The signatories include an overwhelming majority of doctors performing abortion in Queensland.
Sex workers and their allies rallied for law reform and an end to stigma in Brisbane on March 8. It was the first public rally held by Respect Inc, a peer-led rights and support organisation for sex workers. Twenty people wearing red, holding signs and displaying red umbrellas gathered in Queens Garden and marched to Parliament House.
Speaking out against Queensland's 17-year-old sex work laws and chanting, “Nothing about us without us,” workers demanded the Labor state government consult with them to ensure legal changes that would decriminalise their work.