About the issue

Abortion is in Queensland’s Criminal Code. This means that a woman and her doctor can be criminally prosecuted and face jail time for accessing or providing an abortion, except if it’s performed to prevent serious danger to the woman’s’ physical or mental health.

These abortion laws increase the distress, danger and financial burden on Queenslanders who decide to terminate their pregnancy. They also meanwomen are frequently refused abortions at public hospitals; and forced to wait longer, and travel hundreds of kilometres – just to access the healthcare they need.

These dangerous laws have created a situation where:

  • A teenager who was homeless, and battling a life threatening mental illness, was denied an abortion at her hospital,
  • A woman who had been raped by her abusive partner and was living in a refuge was denied an abortion by her local hospital, and
  • A woman facing aggressive ovarian cancer being denied an abortion by her hospital; and also being denied cancer treatment while she was still pregnant.

These laws also create extreme barriers to access for rural Queenslanders. A woman in Longreach would need to travel at least 600 km to access an abortion. On top of her travel and accommodation costs, she could spend $700+ on the procedure.


About the pledge

Fair Agenda has asked all candidates to pledge that if elected:

I will vote to remove abortion from the criminal code, and support laws to ensure all Queenslanders can safely and legally access full reproductive healthcare, without being harassed or intimidated. 

Specifically, taking this pledge means that candidates commit to support reforms that:

  1. Treat abortion like other medical procedures, as a private decision for the pregnant person in consultation with their doctor, up until 24 weeks gestation. And also provide legal access to abortion beyond this point if the pregnant person consents and two doctors determine there is a risk of harm if the pregnancy is not terminated. (This is consistent with the Victorian Law Reform Commission's recommendations and Queensland clinical practice regarding foetal viability). 
  2. Ensure a doctor's personal beliefs don't get in the way of their patient's access to reproductive healthcare; by requiring doctors who oppose abortion on the basis of their personal beliefs to refer a patient seeking advice on, or provision of, an abortion to another provider who doesn't have the same opposition.
  3. Create safe access zones that prevent harassment and intimidation within 150m of premises that provide abortion.

This pledge ask is also backed by: The Human Rights Law Centre, Public Health Association of Australia, Women’s Legal Service Queensland, White Ribbon and the Queensland Council of Unions.

Candidates can submit a new response via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FA_Qldelectionpledge


About Fair Agenda

Fair Agenda is a community of 37,000 Australians campaigning for a fair and equal future for women.

We are an independent, non-partisan organisation that is made up of Australians from all backgrounds and walks of life, who come together to take action on issues affecting women.

Fair Agenda members take action on a range of issues, and our members set our community’s priorities.

Our community’s top three priorities for this year are:

  1. addressing gendered violence,
  2. improving women’s representation (for example, in decision-making roles), and
  3. protecting reproductive rights.

You can learn more about us, and our other campaigns to secure full funding for family violence services, and to prevent sexual violence on campus, at www.fairagenda.org.


About Fair Agenda’s pro-choice campaign

The vast majority of Queenslanders want to see Queensland’s laws changed to stop treating abortion as a crime. In fact, 82% support a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. But that support isn’t currently reflected in the Queensland parliament.

We know public opinion is on our side. In fact, polling shows 60% of Queenslanders would be less likely to vote for a candidate who doesn’t support a woman’s right to choose.

The problem is, most people don’t know that abortion still sits in Queensland’s Criminal Code.

This election is our chance to change that, and to reclaim control over our body and our future.

To make that possible, we need to ensure a majority of pro-choice MPs are elected. That means making sure pro-choice voters know which of their local candidates will represent them on this issue, before they cast their ballot.

Can you help make that possible by sharing this website with your friends, and urging them to vote pro-choice? Click here to share the vote pro-choice page on facebook.

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