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Future doctors celebrate the decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland

18 Oct 2018


 Australian medical students are today celebrating the historic reform to Queensland’s abortion laws.  

 AMSA President, Alex Farrell, said that Australia’s future doctors know that abortion is a health issue and should be treated like one.


“These changes bring Queensland law in line with the 21st century,” Ms Farrell said.

“Medical students all around the country learn about the differing and confusing legal status of abortion across Australia. It is exciting to see Queensland come up to speed with the other States.” 

The students now want to see NSW decriminalise abortion, too.


“Access to fundamental health care shouldn’t depend on which state you live in,” Ms Farrell said.


In 2017 AMSA’s members endorsed a policy calling for the decriminalisation of abortion nationwide. Medical students support the recent NSW legislation to enact Safe Access Zones around clinics providing abortion services, but more needs to be done. “Safe Access Zones protect a woman’s right to access health care free from harassment and intimidation, but they don’t go far enough. Abortion is a health issue, not a criminal one, and the NSW law needs to reflect that,” Ms Farrell, said.


Medical students also endorsed a policy of effective referral, reiterating the imperative for doctors who conscientiously object to participating in the termination of pregnancy to refer a patient to another safe, available, and accessible service provider who does not conscientiously object.


The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17000 medical students.


Media contact

Joel Selby

M 0406919800


Published: 18 Oct 2018