Reproductive rights (lite) prevail

Recently I posted on the discrimination inherent within proposed Victorian Legislation relating to late-term abortions.

Amid growing pressure from Housing Minister Candy Broad, Women’s Affairs Minister Mary Delahunty, the Carlton branch of the ALP, the ALP women’s policy committee and Labor women’s group Emily’s List and Suki Lombard, Bronwen Pike has backed down and dropped the cooling-off period from her proposal.

The new proposal retains a mandatory consultation requirement. The consultation must be,

“Independent of the termination provider, could identify the need for formal counselling, but also other services such as domestic violence, housing, interpreting and other social support services the Government provides. Post termination support could also be included.”

Ongoing counselling will not be compulsory.

“Many women will not need further counselling or further supports (and) there will be no compulsion to attend counselling.”

Whilst I am pleased that the inherent discrimination has been removed from this paternalistic policy proposal, I am concerned that access to free and safe abortion is still not the right of every woman in Australia.

Speak Out: I had an Abortion

Image of Filmmakers and pals: Jennifer Baumgardner (left) and Gillian Aldrich from here


Bronwen Pike defends her reasoning for introducing the proposed legislation and still misses that it discriminates only on the basis of the mental health status of a woman seeking a late-term abortion.

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4 Responses to “Reproductive rights (lite) prevail”

  1. Kate Says:

    Thanks for continuing to cover this issue Suki, it’s very important and your posts are excellent.

  2. Suki Says:

    Thanks for your praise Kate.
    Yours, mine and every pro-choice voice is heard!

  3. JahTeh Says:

    If women had access to Mifepristone maybe late term abortions would be cut. Can States override Abbot on this issue even though it wouldn’t be covered by medicare?

  4. Suki Says:

    Current legislation has Mifepristone banned in Australia.
    The only way to legally access it is for the physician to apply to the Minister for Health and Ageing (currently Tony Abbott) for an exemption to the ban, and arrange the importation themselves if the minister agrees.

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