Member for Keira Ryan Park has today spoken in the NSW Parliament signaling his support for the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill which will see an end to the criminalisation of women having an abortion in NSW.
The bill will allow terminations on request for women who are up to 22 weeks pregnant if performed by a registered doctor. For women who are more than 22 weeks pregnant, terminations will be lawful if two doctors consider that the procedure should be performed after considering all of the relevant medical circumstances.
The bill creates obligations on doctors who have a conscientious objection to disclose their objection to the patient, and refer the patient to another doctor who they believe does not have a conscientious objection. This is in line with existing clinical practice and codes of conduct.
In 2016, the Australian Electoral Study undertaken by the Australian National University found that almost 70 per cent of Australians agreed that women should be able to obtain abortions readily.
In 2018, a study published by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found that 73 per cent of NSW residents agreed with decriminalisation and believed abortion should be regulated as a healthcare service.
In his speech Mr Park labelled the current legislation as “inherently discriminatory” and said it has “entrenched stigma, is outdated and archaic”.
Mr Park said he was a proud feminist and didn’t believe it was his role nor the role of Government to interfere with the patients choosing to seek out options for medically appropriate treatment.
Quotes attributable to Member for Keira Ryan Park:
“It is not my place to deny any woman her reproductive rights.
“Both sides have the right to debate this issue and I certainly respect the views of the members in my community who have contacted me about this matter.
“NSW is the only state or territory in Australia not to have modernised our laws in relation to termination of pregnancy. I am proud to be able to support this important piece of legislation”.