Monthly Archives

May 2018

Abortion: an intractable debate, and women wear the risk

By | Ethics | No Comments

It’s one of the classic, thorny, intractable issues in bioethics and law. Multiple jurisdictions around the world have grappled with the polarising arguments for and against access to termination of pregnancy. Historically, women’s perspectives have been silenced. In Queensland, abortion remains on the Criminal Code, although there are some common law defences for seeking or carrying out a termination of pregnancy.

The Queensland Law Reform Commission is reviewing the laws around termination of pregnancy. My colleagues, Dr Andrew McGee and Dr Sally Sheldon, and I wrote a submission to this review, which prompted us to reflect on the interminable conflict in discussions about this issue. In this paper, we make a case for the decriminalisation of abortion based on the ethical intractability of the issue, and by highlighting under-recognised risks to women inherent in pregnancy and childbirth. The paper was published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology a few weeks ago.

Access to the full text of the article requires institutional library access. Click here to read the write up by QUT.

May women no longer be silenced. Here’s hoping for constructive law reform in Queensland.