Apr 22, 2009

Queensland’s ‘antiquated and repressive’ abortion laws

The incoming Queensland government should follow the lead of Victoria and send the abortion laws to the Law Reform Commission for review, writes Dr Caroline de Costa.

The headline in the Cairns Post of 17 April summed it up well: “Miscarriage of justice”. On the previous day in the Cairns Magistrates’ Court, a 19-year-old woman was charged with procuring her own abortion. Her partner, aged 22, was charged with assisting her. The two are to appear in the Cairns District Court in June.

It is alleged that the young man arranged with his sister to bring into Australia from the Ukraine a supply of the drug misoprostol, which is one of the drugs legally used for medical abortion in Australia — including in Cairns. It is further alleged that his partner used the drug to procure her own miscarriage at 60 days of pregnancy (less than nine weeks). Police stated to the court that misoprostol packets and instructions for the use of the drug, in Ukrainian, were found in the couple’s house. Police also apparently told the court that the couple had not sought medical advice about the availability of abortion in Cairns.

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One thought on “Queensland’s ‘antiquated and repressive’ abortion laws

  1. Julie McNeill

    Thankyou for your continued advocacy – It is just awful to think what this young couple are going through. I have sent letters to ALP Qld MPs to act on its policy platform which is to take abortion out of the criminal code.
    I will be really disappointed and surprised if Premier Anna Bligh doesn’t do this in her first term elected. What is the new Attorney General Dick(really!), saying the Bligh government won’t be making any changes?
    Crossing fingers and I’m hoping that something will change soon, especially a bloomin’ apology for the added trauma.

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