Greens MP and spokesperson for the status of women, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, on Sunday released polling that shows there is overwhelming support for abortion rights and the removal of abortion from the Crimes Act 1900 and exclusion zones against protests around abortion clinics.
Dr Faruqi said, ‘This poll clearly shows what I’ve been hearing as I travel around the state – that a vast majority of people in NSW believe that abortion should not be a criminal offence and women should be able to access clinics in safety and privacy without harassment and intimidation.
‘How much more evidence does NSW Parliament need that the time for abortion law reform is now?
‘A huge majority of Liberal/National voters support abortion law reform. Clearly it’s time for the government to show leadership and bring abortion rights into the 21st century.
‘These reforms have been over a hundred years coming. Most other states around Australia have made these changes well ahead of New South Wales.
‘It’s not good enough to have an ambiguous law that allows the persecution and prosecution of women seeking a simple medical procedure.
‘Many people do not even know that abortion still sits in the Crimes Act in NSW, until they need to make a decision about it. There seems to be a real disconnect between what the law is, what people think it says and what people believe it should be.
‘We need to take abortion out of a grey area of law, break down the stigma and silence that surrounds it and provide legal certainty to women and their doctors.
‘The campaign to reform abortion laws includes decriminalisation of abortion as well as the establishment of exclusion zones around clinics to ensure the privacy and safety of people seeking abortion.
‘This reform is long overdue with other states around Australia well ahead of New South Wales in abortion law reform.’