14/10/2020 | Vickie Chapman MP

The Attorney-General has moved to modernise South Australia’s abortion laws, ensuring the procedure is treated as a health issue, not a criminal one.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the proposed laws before State Parliament would remove outdated provisions in the current system bringing South Australia’s laws in line with the rest of the country.

“The reforms proposed in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill are based on recommendations by the South Australian Law Reform Institute and have been the subject of extensive consultation,” said Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“Our proposal removes abortion entirely from the criminal law – a move that would bring us in line with all other Australian states and territories.

“This is a based on the understanding that it is a medical procedure which should be treated like any other health issue.”

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said it was time to modernise the state’s abortion laws.

“In this day and age, it’s completely outdated that abortion is still under criminal law,” said Minister Lensink.

“These days, there is overwhelming public support to decriminalise abortion and it makes sense given women have done nothing wrong”

“In addition, it removes the requirement that a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy requires approval from two medical practitioners,” said Attorney-General Chapman.

“Under the proposed laws, an abortion can be performed by one medical practitioner up to 22 weeks and six days gestation.

“After that period, a medical practitioner can only perform an abortion if they consult with another practitioner and both are of the view that the procedure is medically appropriate.”

“This is consistent with current clinical practice, and in line with recommendations by the Department for Health and Wellbeing.”

The Bill would also remove a requirement that a person seeking to terminate a pregnancy was a resident of South Australia for at least two months.