One in four Australian women will undergo a termination at some stage in their life – and many of us assume it is completely legal. In reality, access to safe, legal abortions varies from state to state.
Yesterday Independent MP Rob Pyne withdrew his two private members bills from state parliament, meaning the reforms on abortion in Queensland will be now be shelved until the next state election – and that it will remain a crime in the state.
The bills were scheduled to be debated in parliament today however Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls announced on Monday that the Liberal National Party had decided to vote against them, reports Seven News.
The bills will now be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) to make recommendations based on the proposed legislation.
“There is always a way to ensure good legislation is passed by the Queensland parliament,” said Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
“What is only available to the government and the women of Queensland now is that we refer this to the law reform commission and we consider any recommendations that are made and that we seek to bring back a bill to modernise Queensland’s abortion laws.”
While pro-life advocates are hailing the decision as a victory, pro-choice advocates have labeled the move as disappointing and could have potentially life-threatening results.
“While we’re waiting for the commission to conclude their inquiry, nothing changes for Queensland women,” Sian Tooker, a counsellor with pro-choice organisation Children by Choice, tells News Corp.
“Already this week we’ve had to support a woman who has been denied an abortion by her public hospital, despite having a potentially life-threatening pregnancy.
“These situations will continue to arise while we wait for a legislative resolution.”