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Our bodies Our Lives

Full decriminalisation of abortion NOW


The Brumby government in Victoria has tabled an Abortion Law Reform Bill which partially decriminalises abortion, as long as it is carried out within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.

However, women who need an abortion after 24 weeks must get the permission of two doctors. Doctors will be reluctant to give approval as late-term abortions will still be listed as a crime within the Health Act.

The overwhelming majority of abortions are carried out within the first trimester. Less than 1% of all abortions are performed after 24 weeks. These are the most vulnerable women – women who are teenagers, victims of incest or sexual assault, suffering from mental illness, drug addiction or intellectual disability, or have experienced a sudden tragic life circumstance or discovered a foetal abnormality.

By not fully decriminalising abortions, the government is leaving the most vulnerable women out in the cold. Women should have the right to make decisions regarding their pregnancy, at every stage of that pregnancy without restriction.

Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that the overwhelming majority of people support women’s right to choose abortion, including late-term abortion.

We support the full decriminalisation of abortion, therefore we call for the Abortion Law Reform Bill to be amended to remove any restrictions on late-term abortions.

If would like to add your name to this statement, email abortionrightsforwomen@gmail.com or ring (03) 9639-8622, 0405-195-145 or 0413-377-978.

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