pro-choice

Anti-choice state MPs are seeking to add as many caveats as possible to a bill that seeks to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales and which has the support of medical, legal and feminist organisations.

 

“Any law that places half the population at risk of criminality simply because of their biology is a ridiculous and unsupportable law”, Jane Caro told a pro-choice rally on September 14 in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

As an abortion provider, pro-choice advocate and a woman who has undergone abortion in New South Wales, I support the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill.

Even with the best access to sex education, contraception and emergency contraception (which NSW does not have), there is no pro-active way for people engaged in potentially reproductive sex but not prepared for parenthood to guarantee they will not become pregnant. Sometimes, planned pregnancies become impossible to continue, whether for health or personal reasons.

Chants of "Free, safe, legal!" rang out in Macquarie Street on August 6 at 9am as hundreds of people gathered in front of NSW Parliament House to urge MPs to vote to decriminalise abortion today.

The following is a slightly abridged speech given by Jessika Faithfull to a pro-choice protest on March 18 called by the University of Sydney Women’s Collective.

The protest outside St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney was called to counter the annual anti-abortion “Walk for Little Feet” rally. A large contingent of NSW Police unsuccessfully tried to shut the pro-choice protest down.

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Pro-choice protest outside Queensland parliament, May 10. Pro-choice activists in Queensland have expressed disappointment at the release of a parliamentary report on August 26 that failed to support the bill before Queensland parliament to decriminalise abortion.
Since the 1973 United States Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision in legalising most abortions, there has been a steady erosion of women’s abortion rights in the US - with the complicity of both major capitalist parties. A new wave of restrictions spearheaded by Republicans has developed in the past three years, gaining more traction in the past year.
Since Australian women rallied for “free, safe, accessible abortion on demand” 40 years ago, much has been achieved. Legal reform of some kind has taken place in most states and territories. There is Medicare funding for pregnancy termination, mifepristone is available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and women no longer suffer the complications from illegal “backyard” operations. Yet there are still obstacles for women to access affordable pregnancy termination services in a timely manner.
A bill to recognise crime or harm against a foetus was debated a second time in NSW parliament on October 17. About 100 protesters rallied outside before filling the public gallery to witness the debate. Liberal MP Chris Spence's bill, the Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2013 No. 2, also known as “Zoe's law”, aims to amend the NSW Crimes Act. It would give rights and personhood to foetuses of more than 20 weeks (or weighing more than 400 grams), which has troubling implications for women’s reproductive control.
Pro-choice activist will be rallying outside the East Melbourne fertility control clinic on November 24, under the slogan “Our Clinic, Our Bodies, Our Choice”. The rally is organised by Melbourne Feminist Action (MFA), an exciting new women’s rights collective. MFA was initiated by Jacinda Woodhead and Stephanie Convery who work for literary journal Overland. They were motivated by what seems to be a growing and renewed public interest in women’s rights in Melbourne.

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