Queensland Law Reform Commission

More than 200 people rallied outside Queensland state parliament on July 21 to support the call for abortion law reform.

The rally was called by Labor deputy premier Jackie Trad. Earlier in the week, she and other Labor leaders had announced the endorsement by cabinet and caucus of the recommendations in the Queensland Law Reform Commission's report into modernising the state's abortion laws.

Activists can see the light at the end of this very long tunnel, and are pushing for the Queensland parliament to vote to legalise abortion rights.

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.

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.

Decriminalisation of abortion will be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) by the Palaszczuk Labor government after independent MP Rob Pyne withdrew his private member's bills on the issue.

The bills were due to be debated on March 1 but Pyne withdrew them the day before — to the disappointment of many pro-choice activists — when it became clear they faced defeat in the parliament.

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