The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Update On Victorian Abortion Law Reform

Posted by Rhiana Whitson on August 20, 2008

The Abortion Reform Bill looks set to take the safer approach in what the Age reported as an overwhelming push for the “compromise” bill in Victorian State Parliament yesterday, most notably by former Victorian Premier, and veteran campaigner for Abortion Law Reform, Joan Kirner.

The “compromise” bill, states that Victorian women will be able to have an abortion free from prosecution up until the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. However what happens afterward remains murky. After 24 weeks there still exists the opportunity for women to be treated like criminals, their judgement questioned by health professionals, who will undoubtedly be hostile to performing a late-term abortion.

According to today’s Age, under the bill:

Late-term abortions would be allowed only if at least two doctors believe it is appropriate on medical grounds and with regard to “the woman’s current and future psychologial and social circumstances”

The point I’m trying to make is that women should never be considered criminals for making what is, and remains for many, a heartbreaking and life changing choice. 

For women who do choose to abort after 24 weeks, it will be a decision made under undoubtedly extreme emotional terms (very, very few women who had endured pregnancy for this long would not choose to do so otherwise).

These women should not be made to fear retribution or prosecution from moral or medical authorities.

Until women have the full right to choose, the bill will remain an indicator of “criminal” and “innocent.”

It suggests that while thankfully most women who make the choice to have an abortion are now “innocent”, women who make the choice late-term are once again rendered “criminal” and “immoral.”

For more info on the proposed Abortion Law Reform and info on how to further lobby Victorian State Government politicians visit the fabulous Pro-Choice site, prochoicevic.org.au.

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4 Responses to “Update On Victorian Abortion Law Reform”

  1. Sally said

    See … I’m pro-choice (but whose)?
    – The pregnant woman
    – The potential life in the womb (although underdeveloped – ‘foetuses’ are *fully formed* at 12 weeks)
    – The father of the developing life
    or
    – Childless couples on adoption waiting lists

    The argument against adopting out is the trauma involved – yet the sympathy vote for women choosing abortion is the trauma involved!
    An unwanted pregnancy is traumatic no matter *WHAT* decision is ultimately made — so why not choose to face the trauma that will ultimately not ‘dismiss a potential life’ *and* provide childless couples with their greatest desire.
    — but then, I also advocate ZPG; and believe the planet is grossly overpopulated, is proliferating alarming fast, and could do with a good culling (leave the elephants and kangaroos alone). So perhaps I’m not the best person to advocate pro-life?

  2. audrey said

    Sally, it’s not just a case of the trauma of giving up a baby. There’s also the consideration that many women who choose to abort do so because the actual sensation of being pregnant to a child they don’t want is emotionally and physically traumatic.

  3. zooeyibz said

    speaking of abortion… in the good old US of A the federal govt is currently trying to redefine birth control pills, IUDs, etc as “abortion” so employers, hospitals, pharmicists, doctors, etc can refuse women access to birth control on grounds of “conscience”.

    you couldn’t make it up.
    http://irresponsibility.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/the-american-war-against-women%e2%80%99s-rights-the-hhs-attacks-access-to-birth-control/

  4. […] Posted on September 22, 2008 by Leah The Victorian parliament is currently debating the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008. There is overwhelming public support for a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, but […]

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