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25 Feb 2021 Campaigns

Joint letter in support of the legalisation of abortion in SA.

32 leading health, legal and community organisations have come together to urge SA MPs to vote YES to the Termination of Pregnancy Bill that’s before parliament this week.

Fair Agenda & the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition are also calling for all supporters to share their own message of support with their local MP by:

Finding out where you local MP stands on the issue and sending them a message using them to vote yes to the bill to provide safe, legal and compassionate access to abortion care. Which can be done easily by using this tool:

Leaving a voice mail message for your local MP, you can find a guide and talking points on how to leave a message for your MP if a staffer picks up or via voicemail message.

Joining a calling party – an online get together providing a briefing and cheering on the call numbers together. 5:30-6.45pm Mon 15 Feb. Register here:

The joint letter, led by Fair Agenda and South Australian Abortion Action Coalition reads:

To all members of the South Australian House of Assembly,
As organisations and services working for the wellbeing of South Australians, we express our concern about the harm being caused by keeping abortion in the criminal law, and register our strong support for the current Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020.

Each patient knows what makes sense for their health, their body and their future. They should be able to feel safe and in control of their healthcare, and be free to decide whether and when to have a child.

South Australia’s current abortion laws are no longer fit for purpose. They delay and complicate patient care, increase patient distress, and disproportionately harm members of the community who already face barriers to accessing healthcare.
A patient who needs to end their pregnancy shouldn’t have to travel hundreds of kilometres from home, or cross state borders, to access the healthcare they need. And healthcare professionals should be able to provide their patients with the best care possible – without fear of criminal charges.

We express our strong support for the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020 in its current form. The Bill promotes the autonomy, dignity and wellbeing of patients who need to end a pregnancy – by providing a pathway to a more compassionate reproductive healthcare system for South Australians.

In particular, we note the profoundly personal and complex circumstances in which patients need abortion care later in pregnancy. Given this, we strongly support the approach outlined in the Bill, which enables patients and medical professionals to jointly make decisions about their healthcare needs after 22 weeks and 6 days in pregnancy. We consider the proposed Bill provides an approach that is both medically appropriate and compassionate for the patients facing these distressing circumstances.

We also support the provisions to ensure a health practitioner’s personal beliefs don’t interfere with their patient’s access to timely abortion care.

We urge you to support the Bill, and to oppose any amendments. We are aware of proposed amendments that would create barriers to many patients accessing timely, appropriate and compassionate healthcare; particularly in regional and remote areas. Such amendments go against the expert advice of the South Australian Law Reform Institute, and major medical bodies. All South Australians should be able to access the healthcare they need; when they need it; and where they need it.

We call on you to be on the right side of history, and vote yes for the Bill – for safe, legal and compassionate access to abortion care in South Australia.

Amnesty International Australia
Australian Education Union (SA Branch)
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation SA Branch
Australian Women Against Violence Alliance
Australian Women’s Health Network
Democracy in Colour
Embolden SA (Coalition of Women’s Domestic Violence Services SA)
EMILY’s List Australia
EROC Australia
Fair Agenda
Family Planning Alliance Australia
Human Rights Law Centre
Marie Stopes Australia
National Alliance of Abortion and Pregnancy Options Counsellors (NAAPOC)
National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW)
MS Health
Public Health Association of Australia
Rationalist Society of Australia
Royal Aust & NZ College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists RANZCOG
Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia
Reproductive Choice Australia
South Australian Council of Social Service
South Australian Abortion Action Coalition
South Australian Council for Civil Liberties
SPHERE – NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care
National Council of Single Mothers and their Children
The Women Lawyers Association of South Australia (Inc)
WESNET (The Women’s Services Network)
Working Women’s Centre SA Inc
YWCA Australia

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