The campaign to decriminalise abortion in NSW will gain momentum on Thursday when Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi introduces a bill to remove the procedure from the state's Crimes Act.
"I will be making the case for abortion law reform by emphasising that currently, people accessing abortions – and their doctors – remain vulnerable to the full force of the criminal law, including up to a decade in jail, for attempting to procure one of the most common medical procedures performed in our state," Faruqi told BuzzFeed News.
Greens candidate and Housos actress Ashley Avci has explained the bill in a video.
Currently in NSW, as in Queensland, abortions can only be lawfully performed if a doctor believes it is necessary to prevent a serious risk to the life or health of the woman.
Abortion has been decriminalised in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
The bill, a draft of which has been in circulation for two months, also seeks 150 metre exclusion or "safe access" zones around abortion providers.
“My bill does not do anything that has not been done before in other jurisdictions, it does not impinge on anyone’s rights, and it doesn’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do," Faruqi said.
"It will, however, ensure that women and all people accessing abortions will have the power to make decisions about pregnancy termination without the shadow of criminality hanging over their heads."
“I would be very surprised if there were a single MP in NSW Parliament without a close family member or friend who has had an abortion, yet the procedure’s ongoing criminalisation means that there are still significant issues relating to cost, access, and stigma."
“This is an archaic 100-year-old law.”