Women’s Electoral Lobby welcomes NSW Labor commitment to decriminalise abortion, urges the Premier to a joint commitment.

MEDIA RELEASE/STATEMENT

Wednesday 24th OCTOBER, 2018 –

Women’s Electoral Lobby welcomes NSW Labor commitment to decriminalise abortion, urges the Premier to a joint commitment.

Women’s Electoral Lobby welcomes the NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley’s announcement that a future Labor Government will move to decriminalise abortion in NSW.

Mary O’Sullivan from WEL’s Abortion Action Group congratulated the Opposition Leader for promising to end NSW’s isolation as the only state to criminalise abortion, now that the Queensland Parliament has legislated.

“Women’s freedom and capacity to make their own decisions on reproductive health, including abortion, can only be respected if abortion is treated as a health matter, just like every other medical procedure,” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan also warned against women’s health becoming a partisan issue and a political football during the election campaign.

"Public opinion is solidly in support of abortion decriminalisation, irrespective of voting preference."

Bi-partisan passage of the Safe Access Zones legislation in NSW showed us that our MPs can make decisions based on expert evidence and on feedback from women and health practitioners in their communities.

Ms O’Sullivan said that a grave responsibility now lies with the NSW Liberal and National parties and the NSW Premier to promise an end to these archaic laws.

"The cruel provisions of the NSW Crimes Act cause shame and suffering for many women. They also create uncertainty for health practitioners."

WEL calls on the Premier to join with the Labor Opposition and the Greens in a common commitment to start the process of taking abortion out of the Crimes Act after the 2019 election.

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Media Inquiries:

Mary O’Sullivan 0419444889 E: wel@welnsw.org.au

About Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) NSW:

Women’s Electoral Lobby is an independent, non-party political feminist lobby group that for over 45 years has worked tirelessly to improve the position of women in society.

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