Health

NSW Parliament Is Debating Abortion Law Reform Tomorrow, So Email Your MPs STAT

"A choice is not a crime"

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Did you know that abortion is still illegal in many states in Australia, including New South Wales? If you didn’t and access to legal and safe women’s services is a subject that matters to you, it’s time to email your local MP because NSW State Parliament is debating an abortion law reform bill¬†tomorrow.

Here’s the thing, abortion is understandably a bit of a tricky issue, and those who believe that obtaining an abortion is morally wrong might prefer for NSW to uphold the current version of the Crimes Act. But making abortion more accessible isn’t as simple as giving abortions a big fat green light and voting to remove the section of the Crimes Act pertaining to abortions isn’t a neon sign saying “All women get an abortion now!”.

Pro-choice isn’t pro-abortion. Having access to safe, affordable healthcare is a human right, and it’s astonishingly backwards that there are even states in Australia that still view abortions (which are freely accessible on request in Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania) as a criminal act.

Currently New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia all have criminal restrictions on abortion access, though exceptions have been carved out due to court rulings that allow women to access the medical procedure in extenuating¬†circumstances following consultation with a doctor. But call me crazy, it seems pretty “extenuating” to force a woman to carry a child to term and give birth to it if she doesn’t want to. Almost seems like that woman does not have the right to say what happens to her body. Hmmmm.

Tomorrow MPs in NSW will debate whether or not to reform the Crimes Act and remove the section pertaining to abortions, as well as establishing safe-zones outside abortion clinics to stop women being harassed. Whether or not your MP votes “yes” or “no” in this debate will depend on what you, their constituents, want (and should because, hello, democracy).

If this is an issue you care about, if you want women in New South Wales, particularly in rural and remote areas, where access to good healthcare can be limited, to be able to access safe abortions, you must email your MPs tonight before the Parliamentary debate.

Remember, historically it’s proven that legislating against abortion does very little to stop women from obtaining the procedure by other means. When women’s access to abortions is limited, they often resort to unsafe methods to solve the problem themselves, or are forced to cross state lines (often young, alone and in secret) to receive the heath care that should be their right. Upholding the Crimes Act as it is won’t stop NSW women from getting abortions — it just makes their lives uncomfortable, puts their health at risk and heaps on them a disgraceful amount of shame. This excessive legislation against women having rightful control over their own bodies and futures has to stop, so let’s make sure this is a step toward killing that draconian idea once and for all.

So, if you’d like NSW to become a state where abortions are safe and accessible for your fellow stateswomen, email your local MP and urge them to vote “yes” on the bill, before it’s too late.