What is the pledge question?

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 the 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.

What is the abortion law in Queensland?

Abortion is in the Criminal Code in Queensland. Those laws make it a crime to perform an abortion, access an abortion, or supply drugs or instruments to be used in an abortion; unless  it is performed to prevent serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health.


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


Can Queenslanders still access abortion?

Abortion can still be accessed in Queensland - but the physical and financial barriers can be extreme, particularly for people living in rural areas. And often a woman can only access an abortion because a doctor is willing to risk their career to provide it.

Under the current system, public hospitals rarely ever provide abortion. It means most women in need rely on private clinics and day surgeries, and a small number of GPs.

The out-of-pocket costs attached to these services can make access very difficult for some women. Costs can be anywhere from $250 to $4000 depending on a woman's gestation and location.

In addition to the high cost barriers, many rural Queenslanders also have to travel hundreds of kilometres to get to their nearest abortion provider.

Although medical abortion is now available through some GPs, there is no public list of certified prescribers so finding a general practice that offers medical abortion can be difficult. This lack of clear information also impacts on Queensland women’s ability to access a pregnancy termination.


How can I help create change?

This election offers a critical opportunity to secure desperately needed changes to Queensland’s abortion laws.

To make that possible, we need to ensure a majority of pro-choice MPs are elected.

It means making sure pro-choice voters know whether local candidates will represent them on this issue is critical.

The first thing you can do to help is to share this website with as many people as possible, so they can cast an informed vote this election. You can share the website on facebook by clicking here.

Then make sure you sign up to get involved in Fair Agenda’s ongoing campaign to decriminalise abortion in Queensland at: http://fairagenda.org/decriminalise_abortion


What about party positions on abortion?

Parliamentary votes on abortion are traditionally dealt with as a conscience vote.

That means that individual MPs are not bound to vote in line with their party’s position, but instead can cast a free “conscience” vote. 

That means it’s absolutely critical that voters find out their candidate’s personal position before they decide who to vote for.

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