Abortions are legally conducted under an interpretation of the Crimes Act by the NSW district court in 1971, known as the Levine ruling, which allows doctors to approve the procedure when a woman’s physical or mental health is in danger, and taking into account social, economic or other medical factors.
The ACT has decriminalised abortion completely and Tasmania and Victoria have also successfully pursued abortion law reform.
But similar attempts in Queensland ran into difficulty and were delayed earlier this year, following opposition from the state’s Liberal National party party.
The bill will also seek to establish 150-metre safe access zones around abortion clinics to protect women’s privacy and prevent harassment from protesters.
The reforms have the backing of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Marie Stopes, Family Planning NSW and many other groups.
Source: The Guardian