After weeks of debate, centuries of female oppression and countless protests, the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill has finally passed the NSW Lower house!
Abortion was under the 119 year old Crimes Act up until today, where it will finally be changed. Now, under the new Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill, abortion is allowed up to 22 weeks into a pregnancy with the aid of one registered doctor, and the approval of two doctors is required for later terminations.
The debate over this bill was the third longest debate in the NSW Upper house, being over 40 hours long and introducing over 100 amendments.
Abortion has been decriminalised in NSW. Sorry it took so long.
— Alex Greenwich MP (@AlexGreenwich) 26 September 2019
Some amendments to the abortion bill are that doctors terminating pregnancies later than 22 weeks can get advice from other groups like hospital advisory committees, and that they have a duty of care over babies that are born alive after a pregnancy is ended.
Opponents of the bill reckon the amendments are to protect women, but pro-choice activists have called them unnecessary.
Either way, this is a huge moment in NSW’s history, as previous to this there were no grounds for abortions over 20 weeks and the act itself was considered criminal. Of course, there’s still a very long way to go, but here’s to a better and more progressive future for women’s rights.
#BREAKING Abortion is finally decriminalised in NSW, after passing for a final time in the Legislative Assembly this morning. We are so thankful to all of you for your advocacy – emailing and calling MPs, letter writing, showing up to rally after rally, and more. pic.twitter.com/f063uNgqly
— NSW Pro-Choice Alliance (@nswpca) 26 September 2019
Image Sources: Twitter @nswpca @AlexGreenwich