Abortion Reform: A State Crime or a Woman's Right to Choose?

14 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2015

See all articles by Heather Douglas

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Abortion law in Australia varies between States and Territories and many of the laws are outdated, confusing and uncertain. Ambiguity within the law has arguably grown since the introduction of medical abortion by means of drugs such as RU486. Despite widespread support for the provision of legalised abortion and access to relevant services, in most States, abortion continues to be a criminal offence and lawfully available only under certain circumstances. While most Australian jurisdictions have seen significant developments in abortion laws over the past 15 years, Queensland’s abortion laws are extremely outdated. Proceeding on the basis that safe and legal access to abortion is both morally and socially desirable, this article critically examines the Queensland legal position in relation to abortion before turning to an overview of developments in other jurisdictions. The article concludes that law reform is urgently needed throughout most of Australia and particularly in Queensland.

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Heather, Abortion Reform: A State Crime or a Woman's Right to Choose? (2009). Criminal Law Journal, 33 2: 74-86, 2009; University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 15-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611438

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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