STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Where Australia stands on abortion

Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic,...

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 9:49 AM
Updated: Sep 14, 2018 9:49 AM

Abortion is common, safe, and the only criminalised listed medical procedure in Australia due to an archaic, flawed piece of legislation inherited from Victorian England.

Despite campaigns to decriminalize abortion, progress has been slow, and patchy across states. Here's where each state is up to.

Abortion

Abortion rights

Australia

Continents and regions

Health and medical

Medical treatments and procedures

Mental health

Oceania

Sexual and reproductive health

Societal issues

Society

The Australian Capital Territory

The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction to completely remove abortion from criminal law. Medical practitioners can perform abortions at approved facilities.

The health minister can establish safe access zones around abortion clinics, where interfering with a person attending the clinic or causing them distress is prohibited.

Who chooses abortion? More women than you might think

The parliament is set to debate a bill that would allow women to access abortion via telemedicine, nurse practitioners, or their GP.

New South Wales

"Unlawful abortion" is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment in NSW. Case law permits medical practitioners to perform abortions on physical, mental health, economic or "social stress" grounds.

In 2017, a woman who had experienced reproductive coercion was convicted of attempting to procure a miscarriage.

In 2017, the NSW Coalition government unanimously voted against decriminalising abortion. Safe access zones were established in June 2018. The Greens continue to campaign for law repeal.

Northern Territory

Ministerially approved medical practitioners can perform abortions to preserve a woman's life before 14 weeks gestation on physical, psychological or social grounds and between 14 and 23 weeks with another doctor's approval in the NT.

The legality of abortions performed after 23 weeks is uncertain. Doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion must refer patients to a doctor with no such objection. Safe access zones are established in the NT.

The attorney general has promised to review the abortion laws.

Queensland

Abortion is a crime punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment in Queensland. Case law permits medical practitioners to perform abortions "in exceptional cases" on physical and mental health grounds.

In 2010, a Cairns couple was tried and acquitted of procuring an abortion. In April 2018, a suicidal 12-year-old sought permission from the Supreme Court to obtain an abortion. The lack of surgical abortion facilities in far north Queensland has seen women fly interstate for abortions or even perform self-administered abortion.

How the Catholic Church came to oppose birth control

Parliament will debate the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 in October. This bill follows the Queensland Law Reform Commission's recommendations and allows abortion on request to 22 weeks and thereafter in emergencies or when two doctors deem it necessary on physical, psychological or social grounds.

There are provisions for conscientious objection and safe access zones. Abortions performed by unqualified persons would remain unlawful.

South Australia

Abortion remains a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment in SA. A 1969 statutory amendment allows abortion when:

  • two doctors determine the abortion necessary on mental or physical health grounds or for foetal abnormalities
  • performed in a prescribed hospital before the woman is 28 weeks pregnant and thereafter only to preserve the woman's health
  • the woman has resided in South Australia for two months.

After two years of community engagement, the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition began its formal campaign in August 2018 by sending letters to each state MP calling on them to take action to repeal abortion laws.

Tasmania

In Tasmania medical practitioners can perform abortions with a woman's consent up to 16 weeks, and thereafter when two doctors deem it necessary on physical or mental health grounds. There are provisions for conscientious objection and safe access zones.

The state's last abortion clinic closed in December 2017, forcing women requiring surgical abortions to travel interstate. The Liberal government is working with a private provider to deliver low-cost surgical procedures to women in Hobart from October.

Victoria

Abortion is legal on request up to 24 weeks, and thereafter when two medical practitioners deem it necessary on physical, psychological or social grounds. Pharmacists and registered nurses can supply and administer medical abortion before 24 weeks, and thereafter on direction from a medical practitioner.

It remains a crime for an unqualified person to perform an abortion. There is a conscientious objection clause. Safe access zones were established in 2015.

An anti-abortionist has brought an appeal against her conviction for breaching safe access zones to the High Court on grounds that the legislation infringes on her freedom of political communication. A similar challenge has been brought in Tasmania.

Western Australia

Abortion is unlawful unless performed before 20 weeks' gestation by a medical practitioner who has obtained a woman's informed consent or determines the abortion necessary on physical, mental, social, personal or familial grounds.

After 20 weeks, two medical doctors from a ministerially appointed panel of at least six must agree the pregnant woman or foetus has a severe medical condition. A parent must be notified of abortions performed on those under 16 years of age.

Australian laws obstruct access to abortion. Gestational limits, which are generally interpreted conservatively, often make second and third trimester abortions accessible solely to those who can afford to travel interstate or overseas.

South Australians cannot access medical abortion via telehealth or their GPs and must travel to Adelaide or a handful of regional centers.

Abortion remains a doctor's choice in several jurisdictions. Abortions are generally costly, and one in three women find it difficult or very difficult to finance them. Law repeal is therefore one of many changes necessary to ensure better abortion access.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 56560

Reported Deaths: 1656
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18009819
Ramsey6944261
Dakota3991103
Anoka3365113
Stearns283120
Washington191743
Nobles17466
Olmsted162923
Scott139014
Mower10812
Rice9998
Blue Earth8525
Wright8135
Carver7792
Clay74540
Kandiyohi6761
Sherburne6497
St. Louis43619
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3541
Steele3301
Nicollet31213
Benton3063
Watonwan2980
Winona24716
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2011
Beltrami1930
Chisago1791
Goodhue1768
Otter Tail1763
Cottonwood1710
Becker1431
Pipestone1439
Unassigned14040
McLeod1380
Itasca13212
Polk1313
Douglas1300
Waseca1280
Pine1270
Carlton1250
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa981
Brown852
Faribault830
Meeker832
Morrison831
Wabasha810
Sibley792
Koochiching743
Rock740
Pennington721
Jackson700
Mille Lacs653
Fillmore610
Renville595
Cass582
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope430
Houston390
Norman340
Redwood300
Kanabec291
Hubbard280
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Clearwater150
Stevens150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45774

Reported Deaths: 883
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9723203
Woodbury365151
Black Hawk300362
Linn210887
Johnson193315
Dallas178935
Buena Vista178512
Scott159312
Dubuque153729
Marshall138924
Pottawattamie121723
Story110914
Wapello84932
Muscatine82648
Webster7255
Crawford7193
Sioux5952
Cerro Gordo57617
Tama53729
Warren5281
Jasper45524
Plymouth4438
Wright4431
Louisa37914
Dickinson3754
Clinton3173
Washington28710
Hamilton2411
Boone2282
Franklin2205
Bremer1877
Clarke1863
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1650
Shelby1611
Marion1530
Allamakee1514
Poweshiek1468
Benton1431
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1292
Guthrie1265
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1142
Henry1133
Pocahontas1131
Buchanan1111
Lyon1020
Madison1022
Clayton983
Cherokee971
Harrison970
Lee953
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware901
Monona900
Iowa891
Winneshiek851
Calhoun822
Mills820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto790
Kossuth780
Jefferson770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page760
Winnebago760
Grundy741
Union701
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Cass481
Davis481
Howard480
Lucas454
Montgomery433
Appanoose423
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren321
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Adams160
Wayne161
Unassigned80
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 68°
Mason City
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 72°
Rain returns for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Mason City Fire Department burn training

Image

Coronavirus impact on the 2020 census

Image

Inside Graham Park testing site

Image

Farmer's Market Sees Increased Support

Image

Splash Pad Wanted in Rochester

Image

BRI 08-04-2020

Image

Primary Election Is One Week Away

Image

Relay For Life Is 4 Days Away

Image

Seans Weather 8/4

Image

Driving schools adjust to virtual classes

Community Events