According to one poll, an overwhelming number of NSW voters support the decriminalisation of abortion. With the bill to be debated this week, advocates are pushing for no further delays.
With the debate set to resume in the upper house today, The Guardian has noted that 71% of those they tallied support removing abortion from the criminal code, with only 17% believing that the laws should remain as they are.
Guardian political editor Katherine Murphy noted that “the sample size is small because the abortion question was only put to NSW voters in the regular national survey, the sanguine voter sentiment represented in the poll is at odds with the clamour and contention in the political debate. Religious leaders, rightwing MPs and conservative media commentators have mounted a noisy campaign to derail the legislation ahead of the final vote.”
Former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has recorded robocalls slamming a bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales. https://t.co/N8zDKm2E4i
— SBS News (@SBSNews) August 20, 2019
The Human Rights Law Centre look it further, with their Legal Director, Edwina MacDonald urging the Legislative Council to pass the bill without delay or any further amendments.
“This is not a complex issue. This is about better health outcomes for women. This is about respecting the right of every single one of us to control our bodies and lives. Now is the time for members of the NSW Parliament to get on the right side of history and vote in support of women’s health and equality,” said MacDonald.
“This bill has been a long time coming. It presents a strong model that is endorsed by leading medical and legal experts. It should be passed without delay and without any further amendments,” said MacDonald.
“It is unacceptable that, in 2019, women still fear prosecution when accessing abortion and are still treated like they are incapable of making decisions about their bodies and lives. The values of 1900 should not dictate a person’s right to access the healthcare they need in 2019,” said MacDonald.
As it stands, NSW is one of three states that still use criminal laws to regulate abortion, but remains the only state to never reform its abortion laws.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 will be voted on in the coming days.