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Abortion laws in Queensland

2 September, 2009

You have until the 23.10.09 to sign the online petition and let the Legislative Assembly of Queensland know that you disagree that termination of a pregnancy can still be classed as a criminal offence. If you are male it is not a decision you will have to make so you have no excuse but to click on the link and support the petition. If you are female you should support the petition so that you may have a choice and not let politicians decide for you. The petition states:

Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House the fact that termination of pregnancy remains a criminal offence in Queensland.

Under the current legislation, women are at risk of criminal prosecution for accessing a safe medical procedure. Health professionals also remain at risk of prosecution for providing safe abortion services to women.

Queensland law on this matter is increasingly out of step with other Australian states and territories. The majority of public opinion in Queensland has consistently supported the decriminalisation of abortion.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to repeal sections 224, 225 and 226 of the Criminal Code to ensure that termination is no longer subject to criminal law.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick introduced this Bill to the Parliament yesterday and the ABC reports the Bill will be debated today. The Criminal Code (Medical Treatment) Amendment Bill 2009 will not amend any of the sections mentioned in the petition. The Bill will only amend section 282 of the Criminal Code in an attempt to address recent concerns of doctors performing medical abortions.

Mr. Dick has said:

“The Government’s overriding policy prescription is to clarify the law – it is not to alter the current law with respect to abortion – either to increase or decrease its prevalence or availability,” he said.

“The core policy goal remains to ensure that doctors who are lawfully providing a treatment can do so in a way that is best for the patient, without fear they will be prosecuted because they administered a pill instead of an operation.”

Mr. Dick, it does not go far enough. Freakonomics’ take on the relationship between legalised abortion and crime is an interesting read.

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