The year is 2016 and yet we are still fighting for a woman’s right to choose what she may do with her body.
Abortion in Queensland remains a crime under the Criminal Code in sections 224-226.
Section 225 states:
“Any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to herself any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, or permits any such thing or means to be administered or used to her, is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.”
The only exception, outlined in section 282, is if having the child would endanger the mother’s life.
News.com.au reported that girls younger than 14 are needing abortions with one in two seeking advice about the procedure every month in Queensland.
But while many doctors support a woman’s right to choose whether she wants to have a child, a group of Brisbane-based obstetricians and gynaecologists wants to opt out of performing the procedure.
Dr Brian Kenney told the ABC many doctors felt uncomfortable for religious and political reasons.
“My concern if the current position is changed is that we’ll end up with a situation that’s similar to the legislation that exists in Victoria, where abortion is allowed up until delivery at whatever gestation and there is actually an imperative for medical practitioners to either perform or refer for abortion services irrespective of their conscientious objection, which in a liberal democracy I don’t think is acceptable,” he said.
He makes a valid point.
Doctors SHOULD be able to opt out if it goes against their beliefs. But women should still have the right to go to a doctor who supports them with their medical choice.
The arguments against abortion (especially in early gestation periods) are simply not strong and generally come down to accusations of murder or taking a life.
One Christian lobby is going as far to say that abortion causes breast cancer, without evidence to suggest it’s true.
While progress is slow, media coverage on this issue continues and decriminalising abortion in Queensland seems closer than ever with independent MP Rob Pyne’s private members bill hoping to remove abortion from the criminal code and regulate it under the health act instead.