As of October 17th, 2018, abortion in Queensland is no longer a crime. Longstanding laws which made abortion illegal in Queensland have been scrapped in a historic parliamentary vote on the Queensland government’s plan to decriminalise the termination of pregnancy.

What Do The New Laws Mean?

Ultimately, women in Queensland will now be free to access termination services without stigma or fear. Health professionals will also be able to provide these critical services, giving women safe access to healthcare that literally saves lives.

According to the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018, abortion in Queensland will now be available up to 22 weeks’ gestation upon a woman’s request. For late-term abortions, it is now legal for these to be provided by a medical practitioner, provided they first consult with a second medical practitioner. Both must be in agreement that the termination of pregnancy should be performed “in all circumstances”.

Doctors, if they are so inclined, will have the right to refuse to offer an abortion on personal moral grounds; they are, however, now legally required to refer the woman to another medical practitioner who will perform the termination.

Additionally, fertility and termination clinics will be legally protected by a safe access zone of 150 metres, preventing protesters from approaching and harassing women and their families who attend these clinics.

A Long Time Coming

Women’s groups have been fighting for these reforms for fifty years, with abortion debated in Queensland several times since the 1970s, when a clinic opened in Brisbane and women marched for abortion rights for the first time. In 1985, the Queensland government attempted (unsuccessfully) to prosecute surgeons providing abortion services, and raids were ordered on clinics. Abortion was classed as a moral offence.

This is the first time this law has been amended since it was set in 1899 as a morality section of the state’s criminal code – well before women gained the right to vote or to even own their own property.

This is a landmark moment for the equality of women in Queensland, who for the first time will have the right to full autonomy over their own bodies and their own reproductive rights. Termination of a pregnancy is never an easy decision, and it is critical that women can make this decision for themselves without fear of reprisal, harassment, or criminal prosecution.

New South Wales is now the only Australian state to criminalise abortion.

For More Information or Assistance

Contact us today at Gynaecology Centres Australia to receive more information about these legislative changes relating to abortion in Queensland, or for further advice or assistance relating to any women’s health issue including but not limited to unplanned pregnancy. We offer women of all ages and from all walks of life our full support with complete confidentiality. Our staff of experienced medical professionals provides the highest standard of care with empathy and understanding.

Please contact us and find information regarding a clinic near you.