Manufacturing Mental Illness (and Lawful Abortion): Doctors' Attitudes to Abortion Law and Practice in New South Wales and Queensland

H Douglas, K Black, C deCosta, 'Manufacturing Mental Illness (and Lawful Abortion): Doctors' Attitudes to Abortion Law and Practice in New South Wales and Queensland' (2013) 20 Journal of Law and Medicine 560-576

University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 14-03

18 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014

See all articles by Heather Douglas

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Around one-quarter of Australian women will have an abortion during their lifetime but access is affected by the way health care providers interpret the law about abortion. In Queensland and New South Wales abortion is a criminal offence although it is defensible in certain circumstances. Drawing on interviews with 22 doctors who provide abortion services to women in New South Wales and Queensland, this article examines doctors’ responses to two common scenarios in which women may request an abortion. The two scenarios discussed in this article are a request for a first trimester abortion in circumstances where the woman does not feel ready to have a baby; and a request for abortion in the second trimester where the fetus has been diagnosed with an abnormality. This article explores doctors’ understanding of the law related to the provision of abortion in these two States and their views about the effect of the law on their practice.

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Heather, Manufacturing Mental Illness (and Lawful Abortion): Doctors' Attitudes to Abortion Law and Practice in New South Wales and Queensland (2013). H Douglas, K Black, C deCosta, 'Manufacturing Mental Illness (and Lawful Abortion): Doctors' Attitudes to Abortion Law and Practice in New South Wales and Queensland' (2013) 20 Journal of Law and Medicine 560-576; University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 14-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378128

Heather Douglas (Contact Author)

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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