MEDIA RELEASE: 29th JULY, 2019
WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE CO-SPONSOR EMMA HURST MP: “ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY WILL PLAY KEY ROLE IN PASSING THIS HISTORIC BILL”
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst, one of a record number of cosponsors of Alex Greenwich’s Reproductive Health Reform Bill 2019, has today welcomed the move to finally decriminalise abortion in NSW.
With the Bill expected to pass this week in the Lower House, the Animal Justice Party will likely play a key role when the Bill is introduced in the Upper House, where numbers will be much tighter.
“Most of us have either been in the situation ourselves, or have supported a friend who has had to make this difficult decision.
“One in four women in Australia have undergone an abortion. It is not a choice women make lightly.
“However under present NSW laws, unless a woman and her doctor can prove that her physical or mental health is in serious danger if the pregnancy continued, it is a criminal offence to terminate a pregnancy and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. This is archaic.
“Many doctors are hesitant to offer pregnancy termination services due to uncertainty about the law and the fear of prosecution.
“Our current system restricts women’s access to this necessary healthcare procedure. It also adds enormous stress and pressure in an already difficult situation. Women need to be afforded the right to full control over their own bodies. The ongoing threat of possible jail time does not allow that.
“This is a bill that promotes women’s safety and self-autonomy in New South Wales. It will bring us out of the dark ages where we continue to rely on a 119 year old draconian law.
“We are the only state in Australia to still consider abortion a crime. It is time New South Wales acknowledged that termination of pregnancy is not a crime, and women can and must be able to make their own choices.
“The criminalisation of abortion remains a serious barrier to access to reproductive choice in NSW, and one that disproportionately affects women living in remote and rural areas and in lower-socioeconomic communities.
“All women, regardless of their income, location, race, culture, or education should have safe access to reproductive healthcare services, including abortions. This bill is a big step in the right direction to achieving this goal,” said Ms Hurst.
MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792