An update made to a 25-year-old legislation in Western Australia on Wednesday night means abortion is no longer a criminal offence in WA.
An array of changes were made in WA parliament yesterday, including the removal of multiple abortion-related issues, like requiring women to need a doctors referral for termination services.
The changes were first announced in June but have now been finalised. Women in WA will also no longer need to undergo mandatory counselling or require multiple doctors’ approval, and any additional requirements imposed on late-term abortions have been progressed to only be applied from 23 weeks, rather than 20.
Leader in the WA upper house Sue Ellery said the debate carried out in parliament, over 9 sitting days, was done so respectfully and calmly.
“This is fundamentally different to the way the debate was conducted in this place 25 years ago,” she said.
Adrianne Walters, the acting legal director of the Human Rights Law Centre, called the moment a “historic win for reproductive rights nationally.”
“Abortion is healthcare and access to abortion is a human right. Now that right is better protected in Western Australia. The changes will support better reproductive healthcare outcomes across WA.”
“This landmark achievement is a testament to the tireless determination of generations of women, community advocates, and dedicated health professionals across the country.”
The state’s health minister, Amber-Jade Sanderson, said in a statement that the legislation would “significantly improve access to abortion care for regional women.”
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