Saturday, October 11, 2008

Victoria decriminalises abortion

The Victoria Legislative Council has passed the Abortion Law Reform Bill unamended. So, it's a done deal, with only the formality of assent to go.

The bill decriminalises abortion, allows abortion on demand up to 24 weeks and where two doctors believe it is appropriate afterwards. It also imposes a duty on doctors to provide an effective referral if they have a conscientious objection to abortion themselves (to see why, read here; also remember that in rural Australia, there are very few doctors, which could lead to serious access problems if they decide to be jerks). It's a far more sensible framework than the one we have here, and hopefully we will adopt it as well. And by challenging the application of existing law in the courts, New Zealand's anti-abortionists may very well force us to do so.