Abortion has now been decriminalized throughout Australia after the last state of New South Wales votes to reform a bill to make abortions legal.
A law dated 119 years back, which was determined to be outdated has been overturned by passing of this bill.
Prior to this, the abortions could be done in NSW only if the doctor stated that the pregnancy possessed serious health risk to the pregnant women.
The vote was considered orally without any division- the procedure where the member of parliament moved to either side of the room for considering their vote were expected to decide the conclusive outcome.
The discussion went on for nearly 40 hours collectively where 100 amendments were discussed in total, made the debate the longest one in the upper house at NSW.
The passed bill also nominated in renaming the bill to Abortion Law Reform Bill 2019.
The new law makes it legal to have abortions up to 22 weeks and post that will require statement of agreement from two doctors.
Reflecting a point pre-existing in the NSW guidelines to health, a medical authority may counsel a “multi-disciplinary group or hospital advising team” with respect to abortion post 22 weeks; states the new legislation.
This reform received strong disapproval from many MP’s and activists on the basis of personal beliefs, as well as questions related to late term terminations.
However, some conventional MP’s were eventually convinced at the last moment amendments to the bill, thereby receiving other parties’ support.
“The current law enforces that doctors conducting abortion procedure and females resorting to abortion could wind up in jail for 10 years. This was not right”, states MP of Labor, Penny Sharpe who is also one of the co-sponsors to the bill.
The law reform could be done due to case law that recognized that just the “unlawful” terminations were forbidden and that in specific occurrences, an abortion could be legally carried out.
Family Planning NSW CEO, Ann Brassil stated that, “Following 119 years we’ve at last had fetal termination expelled from the Criminal Code so it’s never again a criminal offense to have a fetus removal”
Dr Vijay Roach , President to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RANZCOG), the higher most nationwide federation pertaining to healthcare of women said that he was skeptical for using certain terminology such as “abortion on demand” due to the usage of it by activists against abortion, but told that abortion prior to 22 weeks of conceiving was available to women.
“It isn’t simply words or the probability of being charged, the shame’s related with making fetus abortion the one aspects of health care that is part of the Crimes Act”, adds Dr Roach.
Hence, abolishing the outmoded law translates the message of being a woman’s right and a healthcare’s part.