Pro-choice protesters in Melbourne reacting to the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, July 2022 (Image: AAP/Michael Currie/ SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Pro-choice protesters in Melbourne reacting to the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, July 2022 (Image: AAP/Michael Currie/ SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Some misinformed rubbish has been said about abortion in the past week, as the Australian media, public and politicians react to the sudden loss of American women’s constitutional right to abortion. According to one academic featured on the ABC, it was “highly unlikely that abortion laws in Australia would be reconfigured in the way they are in the US ... we are a broadly pro-choice country. Most polling puts us at about 80% or more support for abortion.”

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus agreed, based on a historical understanding of the abortion rights landscape in this country that bears no resemblance to reality. As he told the ABC’s Law Report, “I think we can feel very fortunate in Australia that abortion has decades ago stopped being a matter of public debate.”

Let’s take it from the top. The US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade returned decisions about regulating abortion to the states. This is exactly how we regulate abortion here in Australia. State by state and territory by territory.