Queensland

Oct 27, 2009

Queensland doctors continue medical abortions bans, use of RU-486 widens

The ban on medical abortions by specialist obstetricians in Queensland Health hospitals is now in its third month, writes Caroline de Costa. And while some discussion continues between doctors and the state government, little progress has resulted.

The ban on medical abortions by specialist obstetricians in Queensland Health hospitals is now in its third month. The ban, currently in force in all public hospitals with a maternity unit, mostly affects women found in mid-pregnancy to be carrying a fetus with severe abnormalities; women so affected have been sent to clinics interstate when they make a decision for late abortion.

The ban was put in place when doctors became concerned about the implications of Queensland’s archaic abortion laws for their practice of medical abortion, following the ongoing prosecution of a young Cairns couple for allegedly procuring the woman’s abortion. Also affected by the ban are women with serious medical conditions that would be worsened by their continuing the pregnancy.

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One thought on “Queensland doctors continue medical abortions bans, use of RU-486 widens

  1. Julie McNeill

    Dear Caroline,
    Thankyou for your perseverence on this. Can the Law Reform Commission only act with consent from Government? I was at a Regional ALP conference and I said to Paul Lucas who said he would not vote to change the law on this – what about the fact that 80percent of Queenslanders support decriminilisation and you refuse the respect womans right, but when 80percent don’t support selling public assets – you go ahead and are not afraid of loss of votes?

    He repeated the distracting furphy that this was about illegal importation of a drug – but I replied they were charged under criminal abortion law not drug laws.

    As Minister for Health he said Mental Health was an issue important to him, and when I said I was worried that the State may be causing irreversible mental health problems for Tegan Leach, because of what she is going through he repeated the mantra The Premier wouldn’t get a vote through Parliament.
    He had to go – all I could do was get a motion passed that a conscience vote on abortion is archaic and should be voted by party discipline on ALP platform of over 10years. For those strident about denying womens rights they could abstain.
    I and many other Queensland women look out for your leadership so we can continue to campaign. Juliex

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