Claims abortion laws putting QLD women at risk
Sunday, September 6, 2009, 1:51 pm
Queensland abortion laws are putting women in danger and have led to a rise in backyard terminations, according to pro-choice lobby groups.
In Queensland, abortion is a crime under the Criminal Code, although generally regarded as lawful if performed to prevent danger to the woman’s health.
The current legal ambiguity limits women’s access to medical treatment, says Children by Choice spokesperson Kate Marsh.
“One of the problems with abortion law is that it’s unclear… By restricting legal access you are putting women’s lives at risk and that’s something the Queensland Government really needs to address,” Ms Marsh says.
Following the recent prosecution of a Townsville woman who used illegal drugs to procure her own miscarriage, Queensland Attorney- General Cameron Dick said the issue of abortion was a serious one, but the Bligh Government had no plans to change current legislation.
Cherish Life Queensland spokesperson Teresa Martin says that women seeking pregnancy termination have other options and the Government should promote independent counselling and adoption as alternatives.
“The law serves not only to prevent crime but as an educative tool indicating to society values,” Ms Martin said.
“To remove abortion from the Criminal Code says that society no longer holds human life to be of value.”
Ms Marsh says no matter what side of the argument people support there are not enough options for unwanted pregnancies.
“With out correct access to medical treatment, women do seek out backyard abortion methods and they do put themselves in danger and they have died, something must be done,” she says.