In 2018 the Queensland Government passed legislation to decriminalise abortion.
This means that women in Queensland can now legally access services to terminate their pregnancy, doctors can now legally perform abortions on women who are no more than 22 weeks pregnant and in situations where a woman is more than 22 weeks pregnant a doctor can perform an abortion after consultation with and agreement from a second medical practitioner.
The legislation has also changed to prohibit certain behaviours near termination services. Safe access zones of 150m have been imposed around services, and acting in a way that deters another person from leaving or entering a service (such as protesting) can amount to a criminal offence. It is also now illegal to film someone leaving or entering a service and to share that recording.
Also, it is now a crime to force someone to have an abortion without their consent.
The legislation was introduced to ensure termination of pregnancy is treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. Abortion is very common, with up to one in three women in Australia choosing to terminate a pregnancy.
This new legislation supports a woman’s right to health and recognises the importance of having safe access to information, support and services.
At Mackay Women’s Centre we can provide information, counselling and support to women who may be considering this course of action or who have decided to take this course of action.
We can link women with health professionals who can assist them with whatever their decision may be.