CHANGING TIMES: More than 130 Bundaberg women experienced an unplanned pregnancy in the past 12 months.
CHANGING TIMES: More than 130 Bundaberg women experienced an unplanned pregnancy in the past 12 months. LSOphoto

What law change will mean for Bundy women seeking abortion

BUNDABERG women seeking abortion services soon won't have to travel hours in order to have access to a clinic.

New laws to decriminalise abortion are to be introduced to State Parliament, with a decision expected to be made before the end of the year.

Manager at Children by Choice Daile Kelleher says many women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

"The reality is one in four Australian women will have an abortion in their lifetime, and that is no different with the women in Bundaberg," Ms Kelleher said.

"Over the past 12 months, Children by Choice counsellors have spoken to 132 women that live within the Bundaberg postcode 4670, that have experienced an unplanned pregnancy."

The new law will allow women to seek abortions from a medical practitioner up to 22 weeks into the pregnancy. If the doctor objects, they are required to refer the woman to a willing practitioner.

"Some women within regional or remote areas are having to travel hundreds of kilometres and pay anywhere between $400-$4000 for a procedure that if legalised, could be provided at a public health facility, or even at a local GP," said Ms Kelleher.

On Monday Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her support of introducing new laws, following the Queensland Law Reform Commission's report into the current laws. Ms Kelleher said it is about time the law is changed.

"Reforming the law will mean that women can access abortion procedures without fear of being charged with a criminal offence, and doctors and medical providers can provide healthcare without the same fear."

"The law creates uncertainty for women and their doctors with barriers including cost, transport and misinformation."

The proposed laws will also implement a 150m safe access zone around abortion clinics to prevent the harassment of women accessing abortion services, and staff.



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