Make sure pro-choice voices are heard: make a submission

Make sure pro-choice voices are heard: make a submission

The Queensland Government has just introduced strong pro-choice legislation to Parliament. But before these laws can be voted on, they need to survive a committee review process. We know that anti-choice church groups and organisations across the state are working to flood the committee with anti-choice submissions.

We need to ensure that the committee receives submissions that reflect the vast majority of Queenslanders that back safe and legal access to abortion care. Can you take 5 minutes to make sure the committee hear loud and clear that Queenslanders support these pro-choice laws?

Click to start a submission.Then use one of our guides to make either a super simple 1 minute submission; or have even more impact with a customised 5 minute submission.

START A SUBMISSION

Please note: the submission deadline is midday Wednesday September 5th.

 

The submission process (click to view) 

You can make your submission via a simple online survey form, which asks you whether or you support or oppose six specific parts of the proposed laws (we’ve explained what they are below). 

To make your submission simply:

  1. Click this link: https://qldparlcomm.snapforms.com.au/form/tpb
  2. Fill in your contact details
  3. Respond yes/no or undecided to each of the six questions:
    • You’ll be given a chance to add a further explanation in a comment box. We encourage you to use that opportunity to explain why you support each part of the legislation (and have provided some suggestions below/in our customised 5 minute submission guide.
  4. Let the committee know if you need them to keep your response confidential; and if you would like to be considered to speak at the committee’s hearings (you probably want to answer "no" to this question).

Please note: the form doesn't allow you to save your response. So you'll need to make your submission all in the one sitting. 

 

The questions and sample responses (click to view) 

The online survey asks whether you support six specific provisions of the legislation. The legislation is based on recommendations from the Law Reform Commission; and Fair Agenda supports all of the proposed provisions. We encourage you to do the same.

You can access an explanation of each question and some further information you may wish to include with your submission below. Remember that personalise submissions will be the most powerful - so we strongly encourage you to draw from your own experience, and customise your responses wherever you feel comfortable. You can see our 5 minute guide to making a custom submission here.

 

Q1. Do you agree terminations should be lawful on request up to 22 weeks?

What this question is about: the basis on which people should be able to access a termination; and the point at which decision-making about a pregnancy is taken away from the pregnant person and shifted to the hands of medical practitioners.

Recommended answer: YES.

 

Q2. Do you agree that terminations should be lawful beyond 22 weeks with the agreement of two medical practitioners?

What this question is about: The process that a pregnant person is put through if they need abortion care after 22 weeks in pregnancy. The patients seeking care in these circumstances are facing complex, deeply personal and difficult circumstances - including women who may have just received a devastating diagnosis about the health of their fetus, or themselves. The proposed provision would mean a patient needing care would first have to obtain approval from two medical practitioners who have to agree that “in all the circumstances, the termination should be performed.”

Recommended response: YES

 

 

Q3. Do you agree that terminations beyond 22 weeks should be allowed in an emergency?

What this question is about: cases where a termination must be performed because there is an immediate risk to the life of the mother or another unborn child. Fair Agenda believes there should be no barriers to providing emergency healthcare, and doctors must be confident in the course of action for providing care in these circumstances.

Recommended response: YES

 

Q4. Do you agree with allowing a health practitioner to conscientiously object to the performance of a termination, except in emergencies?

What this question is about: allowing doctors to personally object to performing an abortion on the basis of their personal beliefs, if they register that objection and refer their patient to another medical professional who can provide unbiased advice.

Recommended response: YES

 

Q5. Do you agree with the establishment of safe access zones within 150m of the entrance of termination service premises and associated penalties for prohibited conduct or restricted recording?

What this question is about: preventing anti-choice protesters from harassing and intimidating patients and staff who are trying to access abortion services.

Recommended response: YES.

 

Q6. Do you agree with the proposed offences for unqualified persons who perform or assist with a termination?

Recommended response: YES

 

Q7. Other issues

What this question is about: Your opportunity to make any other comments in relation to the Bill.

Recommended response:

I would like to register my opposition to any requirements for a woman to undergo mandatory counselling in order to access abortion. I trust women to make the decision that is best for them and their family; and to decide on the nature or extent of any counselling they might want.

I would be concerned that any requirement for mandatory counselling would create additional barriers and difficulties to accessing services. I know that in the United States mandatory counselling requirements have been used to shame women and make it more difficult to access abortion. These have particularly hurt low-income people and those in rural areas, because many patients live hours from their nearest clinic, and attendance at a mandatory counselling appointment increases the costs, lost wages and time involved in getting the treatment they seek. Given the size of Queensland, and distance between many facilities, I’d be concerned about similar impacts in Queensland.

 

Find out more about what we need to counter in each question in our 5 minute submission guide here.

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