When Was Abortion Legalised in South Australia

In Victoria, since 2008, abortions have been permitted on demand up to the 24th week of pregnancy, and abortions after this period until the birth of the child, with two doctors agreeing that this is appropriate for the woman`s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances. [85] [86] Since at least the 1980s, opinion polls have shown that a majority of Australians support abortion rights and that support for abortion is increasing. While anti-abortion violence is rare in Australia, anti-abortion activists have used tactics such as „verbal abuse, threats and obstruction of entry” outside abortion clinics. [1] In response, all jurisdictions have passed laws prohibiting protesters from harassing visitors and staff within a specific radius of abortion clinics, starting with Tasmania in 2013 and finally Western Australia in 2021. Since March 2016, protesting within 50 metres of an abortion clinic in the Australian Capital Territory (also known as „protest-free zones”) has been a criminal offence. [49] [50] From 1925 to 2001, Tasmania`s Criminal Code prohibited „illegal abortion” without specifying what was legal and what was not. Although it was never actually prosecuted, Victoria`s Menhennitt decision of 1969 and New South Wales` Levine were found to be applicable in Tasmanian law. At the end of 2001, the Criminal Code was clarified to the effect that an abortion must be performed according to a number of criteria similar to those in South Australia. The availability of abortion facilities in the state is limited. The state public health system provides abortion services only in exceptional circumstances (such as fetal abnormalities), so most women have access to abortion through the private sector. In 2017, the state`s only low-cost surgical abortion clinic closed. Some women have chosen to fly from state to state for abortions.

[84] Once the new regulations are in place, women will be able to access abortion medications online for up to nine weeks and will no longer have to travel. Brigid Coombe, co-chair of the SA Abortion Action Coalition, described the changes to abortion law as „long overdue.” It also allows telemedicine prescribing and eliminates the requirement for treatment to take place in a hospital for early medical abortion. According to the Health Care (Safe Access) (Amendment) Act 2020, certain behaviours are prohibited in public places within 150 metres of premises where abortions are performed. Prior to the new law, abortion in New South Wales was explicitly listed as a crime under sections 82 to 84 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) since 1900,[52] but the interpretation of the law is subject to the Levine decision of R v Wald of 1971,[5] which was itself derived from the Victorian Menhennitt judgment. which considered an abortion to be legal if a physician honestly and reasonably believed that the abortion was necessary for „any economic, social or medical reason or reason” in order to „protect the woman concerned from a serious danger to her life or physical or mental health that the continuation of the pregnancy would entail.” [5] But Mr. Picton did not get an answer when asked by the CBA when these laws would come into force. There are no estimates of abortion rates in Western Australia since the years immediately preceding abortion reform in 1998, but an earlier report by the Western Australian Department of Health estimated abortion rates comparable to those in Western Australia under the legislation. Since at least the 1990s, tactics employed by anti-abortion activists outside abortion clinics have included „verbal abuse, threats, obstructing access to clinics, posting violent images, and acts of `disruptive theater` such as pushing a blood-splattered doll into a stroller.” [1] In response, states and territories have begun creating „safe access zones” that prevent anti-abortion protests in a no-go zone around a clinic.

[1] Tasmania was the first state to do so in 2013. [30] In April 2019, the High Court of Australia upheld these laws after they were challenged by two people arrested for violating them. The petitioners claimed that their right to freedom of political communication had been denied on the basis of the laws, although the court dismissed the appeals, arguing that the laws served a legitimate aim. [31] In August 2021, Western Australia became the latest state to introduce safe access zones. In previous months, patients at abortion clinics in the state continued to be approached and intimidated by protesters; Footage was also obtained of anti-abortion activists protesting outside a clinic in Western Australia at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite social distancing policies at the time. [32] Section 12 states that a licensed non-medical practitioner cannot perform an abortion for the purpose of sex selection. In the mid-1990s, the conservative Howard government was in power in Australia, with Tasmanian Independent Conservative Senator Brian Harradine in charge of the balance of power in the Senate. Howard negotiated a deal with Harradine to gain his support for legislative proposals, including the privatization of national telecom provider Telecom.

In return, Harradine received support for the introduction of abortion restrictions. [7] Therefore, abortifacient drugs, unlike other drugs, had to be approved by the Minister of Health before they could be assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). As the TGA assessment is a prerequisite for the sale of medicines in Australia, this led to a ministerial veto. [8] As a result, the abortient RU-486, which was widely used overseas, was banned in Australia. [9] The continued refusal of then Minister of Health Tony Abbott to allow abortifacients in Australia led to the introduction of legislation in late 2005 to transfer the licence to the TGA. The bill was passed in 2006. [10] [11] From 2006 to 2012, the drug was still not registered with the TGA, and physicians needed a special status from the TGA to prescribe it; [12] Even after registration, its use is still subject to special conditions and restrictions. [12] There is a consensus among medical experts in Australia that abortifacients are over-regulated. [13] SALRI`s preferred recommendation was that there should be no set criteria or pregnancy limits for when an abortion can be performed legally. According to this model, it was recommended that abortions be available at any stage of pregnancy with the participation of a physician. Traditional Christian beliefs played a major role in influencing Australia`s initial anti-abortion policy.

The change in attitude towards abortion and reproductive rights has been correlated with fewer Australians perceiving their country as a „Christian nation”, which has reduced the influence of right-wing Christian politicians. [97] However, the stigma surrounding abortion persists and can severely affect women`s sense of identity and mental health, as well as the practice of an abortion.