Abortion would be decriminalised in South Australia under legislation introduced to the state’s Parliament yesterday. Source: The Advertiser.
Under current legislation, abortion performed in the state under certain conditions – such as without the approval of two doctors or outside a prescribed hospital – is an offence.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the Termination of Pregnancy Bill would remove provisions under the 1935 Criminal Law Consolidation Act, and bring South Australia into line with the rest of the nation.
Under the bill, the approval of two medical practitioners will be required only for an abortion after 22 weeks and six days gestation. The current requirement of a minimum two-month’s residency in the state in order to terminate a pregnancy will be removed.
The only continuing criminal offence will relate to a seven-year imprisonment penalty to anyone who is not qualified to perform or assist an abortion.
The bill will be debated in coming weeks and follows an extensive report by the South Australian Law Reform Institute in December that recommended abortion be regulated under health law.
Australian Christian Lobby state director Christopher Brohier said the bill was “radical” and “unacceptable” law reform and that the group would encourage MPs “to exercise their conscience to oppose it”.
Sweeping changes to decriminalise abortion in SA (By Rebecca DiGirolamo, The Advertiser)