NSW MPs: Stop this Trojan Horse attack on abortion rights

Next week the NSW Parliament could be asked to cast the deciding vote on controversial “foetal personhood” legislation that legal experts say could pose a huge risk to abortion rights.

Controversial member of parliament Reverend Fred Nile is once again trying to push “Zoe’s Law” through the NSW Upper House. And his plans were even featured on A Current Affair last night.[1]

This problematic legislation has already been voted through the NSW Lower House - - which means this is the last chance to stop it becoming law.

Those pushing for this law want to make it a crime to harm or destroy a foetus. It’s a push that has followed the tragic loss of Brodie Donegan; who was struck by a car while pregnant.

Legal and medical experts say this proposed law poses a significant risk to abortion rights.

The Law Society of NSW has said that the current law already deal adequately with harm to pregnant women and foetuses, as courts already have discretionary power to consider harm to a foetus as an aggravating factor in sentencing. They’ve warned that the proposed changes would be a really significant change to the law.[2] That warning has been echoed by the NSW Bar Association who have said the proposed law will have obvious implications for abortion.[3]

The President of the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said these kind of changes are “a Trojan Horse” that would interfere in doctor-patient relationship for religious reasons. And that to add any threat of ambiguity around criminality, while there’s already a lack of clarity around the legal status of abortion, is a “dumb retrograde step”.[4]

The Women’s Legal Service have also expressed concerns that these kinds of laws could be used to impose restrictions on the behaviour of pregnant women. Last time “Zoe’s Law” was in the Upper House, pressure from concerned community members, including Fair Agenda members, were able to stop it from being passed. But there’s now a renewed push to get it through; and growing pressure from anti-choice forces. We need to organise to stop it again.

Can you take action to now to help stop this threat to abortion rights, by signing and sharing the petition now?

1. Zoe’s law mum wants to ‘reclaim’ name from Fred Nile, 9news.com.au, 17 October 2017.

2. & 4. “Fetal Personhood” is about to become a political issue all over again, Buzzfeed News, 15 March 2017.

3. The New South Wales Bar Association letter dated 6 September 2013.

Dear NSW MPs,

We are extremely concerned about the risk the proposed "Zoe's Law" poses to abortion rights and access in NSW.

We urge you to vote against Zoe's Law - and any other attacks on our reproductive rights.


Fair Agenda will email petition signers from time to time with important updates

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