Forty organisations have banded together to show support for Victoria’s existing abortion laws and reject DLP MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins bill that would wind back women’s rights to safe, legal abortions.
Health, women’s, legal, youth and community groups, unions and political parties have all signed an open letter to Premier Daniel Andrews to support the government in its stance not to change our abortion laws.
Rita Butera, Executive Director of Women’s Health Victoria has said, “This letter demonstrates there is very strong and broad community support for the rights of women’s to access essential reproductive health care.”
“Our current abortion laws were established in 2008 after thorough examination by the Law Reform Commission and parliament. They reflect research evidence and clinical best practice,” said MsButera.
Marie Stopes International Australia, CEO, Maria Deveson Crabbe said, “The debate is over, abortion was removed from the Crimes Act in 2008 and should never, never go back. Equally, doctors must not be prosecuted for providing clinically appropriate healthcare.”
“This law is about protecting women’s rights to manage their reproductive health as they choose. Every woman should have the right to make her own decision over her sexual and reproductive health”, said MsDeveson Crabbe.
Colleen Hartland, Greens Spokesperson for Health said, “This is an issue of maintaining proper access to clinically appropriate health care for women. The Government should rule out a conscience vote on this matter.”
“The community will not accept any attempts to turn back time on women’s health care and women’s rights. All parties should reject this proposal at the first opportunity.”
Fiona Patten, of the Australian Sex Party said “I can’t believe that in 2015 we are even discussing abortion laws anymore.”
“Women in Victoria already have the right to choose – it’s not always an easy decision, so why is this minority element of the community trying to make it harder for them? This proposal by the DLP is a patronising stunt, pure and simple, and the Andrews Government should jettison this proposed legislation immediately,” said Ms Patten.