New South Wales is the only state left in Australia yet to decriminalise abortion.
Premiere of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, and Independent MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, have been actively working to change this. They have proposed a bill to legalise abortion in NSW, explaining in a statement that:
“The bill ensures women in NSW have access to safe and lawful terminations without the threat of criminal convictions and provides doctors with the legal clarity they have long sought.”
But the bill has been met with resistance and, so, has been delayed.
Am I surprised? I’m sad to say no.
Lots of Aussie politicians have spoken out against the bill, including previous Minister for Women and Minister for Mental Health (the irony), Tanya Davies, and Christian Democrat, Fred Nile.
Arguments to push the bill vary from calling it “disrespectful” to dubbing it “another attack upon the rights of people of faith.”
There are so many arguments for why the bill should be passed and I could explain them all to you. But, instead, I’m going to let the signs from the NSW abortion protest, which took place at parliament house this morning, do most of the talking.
‘It’s Time’. Yes. It. Damn. Well. Is.
’Our Bodies, Our Rights’ is self-explanatory. A person may not agree with or like abortion, but that does not give them the right to decide for another person. One person’s opinions are not another’s.
In the very back of this photo is a poster that reads ‘Sugar, Spice, and Reproductive Rights.’ In other words, society gives women labels which it thinks are important – i.e. being sugary sweet, spicy, and interesting. But it neglects to acknowledge the things that are actually important – i.e. our reproductive rights. Society should not be able to pick and choose the labels women are expected to fulfil.
Society should also not be able to determine our fundamental human rights. Reproductive rights are one of those. Or rather, as one of the above posters explains, ‘Reproductive Rights are Human Rights’.
‘(Non-Violently) Smash The Patriarchy’. I.E. a government of predominantly white, middle-aged men should not be making decisions on behalf of the female population.
The drawing if the uterus with ‘not yours’ underneath it says the same thing as the above: only the person with the womb should be making the decisions, and only that person knows what is best for them.
If passed, the bill would allow for terminations for women up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, and after this time if two doctors believe it is necessary considering medical, physical, social and psychological circumstances.
It would also make it illegal for anyone who is not authorised to perform an abortion – attracting a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.
If the bill is not passed, however, women will have to live with the struggle of getting an abortion and the added fear of breaking the law.
If the bill is not passed, women will be more likely to seek abortions in unsafe environments, putting their own lives at risk.
If the bill is not passed, women will continue to have their feelings, opinions, and decisions stifled by a society who insists on telling them what to do.
If you ask me there’s only one reason the abortion bill has been pushed, and it’s not because it’s “disrespectful.” It’s because those opposed to it are scared – they know that if the bill is put to parliament they’re going to lose.
The writing’s on the wall.