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Abortion law: a national perspective

Abortion law: a national perspective

Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
Briefing Paper No 02/2017 by Tom Gotsis and Laura Ismay

‚ÄčThere are currently two Private Members Bills before the NSW Parliament relating to abortion: the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016, which was introduced in the Legislative Council by Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC; and the Summary Offences Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill 2017, which was introduced into the Legislative Council by Penny Sharpe MLC.

In order to inform parliamentary debate of the two abortion Bills, this paper reviews and compares abortion law across all Australian jurisdictions. As such, the focus of this paper is not on whether abortion is "right" or "wrong". A fuller understanding of the context in which Australia's abortion laws operate is first provided through a discussion of the reasons why women may seek to have an abortion; public opinion on abortion; and abortion statistics.

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