Abortion, it’s no crime!
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 8, 2 November 2018, page no. 6
After 119 years, Abortion was decriminalised in Queensland on 17 October with the passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2019, 50 votes to 41.
The reform will see abortion removed from the criminal code, and grant women the ability to request an abortion up to 22 weeks’ gestation. Importantly, it will also see the introduction of safe zones (150m) around health clinics where terminations are performed.
The LNP and Queensland Labor provided their MPs with a conscience vote on the matter. Linus Power abstained from voting and Jo-Ann Miller was the only member of government who voted against the legislation. Three members of the LNP crossed the floor: Steve Minnikin, Jann Stuckey and Tim Nicholls. Independent Sandy Bolton and Greens MP Michael Berkman also backed the legislative reform.
The passing of this legislation even made the New York Times, under the headline “Abortion debate in Australia has a new element: women in power”. It was a historic moment that followed generations of campaigning from determined and tenacious activists from all political and social arenas. Many of those women packed the public gallery at Parliament House to witness the moment. New South Wales now remains the only jurisdiction in Australia where abortion is a crime.
I am exceptionally proud of our Union, our long-held policy and willingness to be a voice in the campaign for reproductive rights for the women of Queensland. A big thank you to the many, many of you who have protested, contacted your local MPs and supported this campaign. Many QTU women and men assisted in this campaign, over decades, to finally remove the stigma and shame that was brought about by abortion being a crime in this state. Thank you.