In a landmark move, Western Australia has announced that it will overhaul abortion laws to make it easier for people to access proper care.
In a landmark move, Western Australia has announced that it will overhaul abortion laws to make it easier for people to access legal and proper abortions and care.
The McGowan government has announced that it will not only be making abortion legal, but also increase the limit for getting the procedure to 24 weeks. The requirement of mandatory counselling and GP referrals will also be removed.
Western Australia’s abortion laws are some of the toughest in the country and have remained unchanged for 25 years. The government has also opened a four-week consultation with the public, encouraging individuals to put forward their opinions on how to make abortion laws more progressive.
“We want to hear back from the community, primarily (from) women who’ve experienced the challenges of the current laws and also practitioners who have to work under the current framework,’ Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said in a statement. “We want to hear what their experience has been like and how they think abortion should look in Western Australia.”
Attorney-General John Quigley also commented on removing abortion from the purview of criminal law altogether. “The Criminal Code currently raises the risk for medical practitioners and patients that an abortion may be considered a criminal act if certain strict legal requirements are not met. It is entirely inappropriate that such a crucial healthcare service is dealt with in this way.” he said.
Quigley also added: “It is time to fully decriminalise abortion in WA, while ensuring that it remains the case that an unqualified person is prohibited from performing or assisting with an abortion.”
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The updated bill is slated to go on the floor next year.
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