Diverse group of women, smiling and happily celebrating the news.

NSW passes decriminalisation bill

Sam Wilde Abortion, Advocacy, Blog, Equity and access

At Marie Stopes Australia we welcome the decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales. In our clinics, registered medical professionals will continue to provide contraception and abortion services to women and pregnant people across New South Wales.

Tomorrow, next month, or next year, the number of women and pregnant people wanting abortions in New South Wales will not increase. Demand for our contraception and abortion healthcare services will not increase.

This Bill means that women and pregnant people across New South Wales will now be able to make their decisions about their bodies.

Women and pregnant people will be less likely to consider unsafe abortion methods and will be more likely to access abortion at an earlier gestation. They will be more confident contacting a sexual and reproductive health clinic and requesting all-options non-judgmental counselling. Women and pregnant people will have better health and well-being outcomes.

New South Wales has just become the first jurisdiction in Australia to legislate the prevention of reproductive coercion. One in three counselling clients at Marie Stopes Australia experience some form of coercion from other people in their lives.

Reproductive coercion is not driven by the legalisation of abortion, it is driven by gender inequity. Reproductive coercion is driven by the fact that women and pregnant people are not viewed as being equal or deserving of dignity when it comes to making decisions about their bodies and their lives.

Now the hard work starts, particularly if we are to build on the attention and focus paid to reproductive coercion in the Bill’s debate. We stand ready with a wide range of healthcare, education, social services and employment providers to work with the New South Wales Government to implement this Bill and prevent reproductive coercion.