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South Australia Is Set To Finally Decriminalise Abortion

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South Australia Is Set To Finally Decriminalise Abortion

After a whopping 22-hour debate, South Australia is set to decriminalise abortion.

The state has just one final hurdle to overcome after the legislation passed through the Lower House last night

If it gets approved, South Australia will become the last state in the country to change the legal wording around the procedure.

The Termination of Pregnancy Bill aims to move abortion from being treated as a criminal act to being viewed as a healthcare-related issue.

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The proposal would see late-term abortions (after 22 weeks and six days) made lawful in certain situations.

The amendments require two doctors to determine that 'the termination is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or save another foetus' or that continuing with the pregnancy would cause 'significant risk of injury to physical or mental health'.

An abortion could also be performed if doctors found there to be serious foetal anomalies or high risk of complications.

South Australia's Abortion Action Coalition posted the news to Twitter as it happened, saying: "Bill is read a third time. 29 ayes 15 noes. Termination of Pregnancy Bill has passed the House of Assembly. Even with the amendments, this is a historic day and a very decisive margin supporting the regulation of abortion as health care.

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Attorney-General Vickie Chapman told Parliament the bill would bring South Australia in line with the rest of Australia.

"The fundamental premise of the bill is that Members of Parliament are being asked to trust women and to trust their medical team when it comes to the issue of late-term abortion," Chapman said.

"This is not a controversial position when we trust doctors with every other decision we make in our life."

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Chapman added that she 'fundamentally' rejected the idea that the bill makes it easier to access a late-term abortion up until birth, saying such a claim was 'nonsense".

"There is no such thing as abortion to birth because it is never medically appropriate to terminate a healthy baby at term for no reason whatsoever," she said.

Labor's Katrine Hildyard also gave her support to the bill, saying: "Ending a pregnancy is a deeply personal decision, and any associated trauma should not be exacerbated by [it] being deemed a criminal act."

A final vote on the bill is set to take place as early as today.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: abortion, Australia

Jessica Lynch
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