Since our foundation nearly fifty years ago, WEL has campaigned for the removal of abortion from criminal codes.
WEL's Reproductive Rights reform work focuses on legislation that gives women access to reproductive services including safe and affordable abortion, autonomy over their own bodies and related women’s health issues.
WEL heads up an alliance of organisations working to decriminalise abortion in NSW
For the past few years WEL has been working with organisations and leaders across health and legal sectors to form an alliance that supports the removal of abortion from the NSW Criminal Code (Crimes Act 1900).
In 2019 we'll be strengthening this alliance and continuing our campaign to decriminalise abortion in NSW.
To seed the campaign we have set up a donations based fund. Fundraising will be a priority over the coming months. Your support will help us achieve this change for the women of NSW.
Safe Access Zones in VIC and TAS here to stay
On 10th April 2019, the High court dismissed two cases from anti-choice campaigners in Victoria and Tasmania. Safe access zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania preventing anti-abortion protesters from harassing women seeking medical treatment will stay. The decision confirm the right for people to access the healthcare we need without having to forgo safety, privacy and dignity.
Adrianne Walters, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, and one of the people behind the April win for women's rights on safe access zones in the High Court, wrote of her grandmother's involvement with WEL in the 1970's and how our wins have been a long time coming.
'In the 1970s, my nan, as a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, pushed for the decriminalisation of abortion. She knew what it felt like to discover a pregnancy and be powerless in the face of it, because of the law.
My nan, like the women she volunteered alongside, waited until her 80s to see abortion finally decriminalised in Victoria and her 90s to see the High Court affirm the importance of harassment-free access to abortion.
Women like her got us here...
Each of us should be able to decide what is right for our bodies. Women have fought for this basic right for generations. So while history was made this week, we'll keep pushing leaders around Australia to make reproductive rights a reality for all.'
Read the full article from The Age - HERE.
Ahead of the 2019 NSW State Election, WEL lobbied candidates and parties about decriminalising abortion in NSW.
In December 2018, WEL, Fair Agenda and the Human Rights Law Centre headed up a letter in which doctors, lawyers, healthcare groups and domestic violence services joined community organisations called for the NSW Parliament to recognise the right to safe and legal abortion access in the state.
To read about our 2017- 2018 work visit this PAGE.