NSW Parliament: Decriminalise abortion and repeal archaic and sexist legislation
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In the wake of Queensland's historic passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 last week, we must now turn our attention to New South Wales. In New South Wales, the act of procuring an abortion remains a criminal offence under the Crimes Act 1900, with 'offenders' facing penalties of up to ten years' imprisonment. It is unacceptable that in 2018, women still are not afforded bodily autonomy or the right to exercise choice over their own bodies, health and futures.
Irrespective of the circumstances in which a pregnancy occurs, the woman who will feel the physical, psychological, social and other impacts of the pregnancy is the party who should be empowered to decide how the situation is managed.
Recognizing and acknowledging women as capable and competent agents of decision-making would be a significant step for New South Wales. It is not appropriate that the Government withholds a woman's right to bodily autonomy - which is precisely what the Government is doing by enshrining criminal penalties for abortions in the Crimes Act.
Consenting to, assisting in or performing an abortion should not constitute a criminal offence - it constitutes the exercise of personal decision-making as it relates to a woman's health, lifestyle, relationships, financial status and various other factors. It is New South Wales' duty to empower women to make informed and safe decisions in relation to abortions, and to support them during this process. It is not the State's right to impose criminal liability where a woman makes a personal choice - the cultural implications of this are dangerous and indicate a deeply-rooted institutionalised oppression of women and restriction on female autonomy.
We call on New South Wales Parliamentarians to listen to their constituents and reflect on the progress that the rest of the country has made. It is time for legislative reform. Her body, her choice.
Feel free to use the sample email that will appear on the next page and email, call or meet with your NSW Member of Parliament! Find out how to contact them here: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/members/Pages/all-members.aspx
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