MSI Australia, the largest non-profit provider of abortion care in Western Australia, has welcomed the introduction of abortion law reforms to the State Parliament following extensive community consultation and support.
The proposed reforms will take abortion out of the criminal code, increase the gestational time limit for a procedure from 20 to 23 weeks, abolish the counselling mandate to make it optional, scrap the need for multiple GP referrals, and end the archaic and opaque requirement for people to have their case reviewed by a panel to be considered for an abortion over 20 weeks gestation.
Greg Johnson, Managing Director of MSI Australia welcomed the reforms.
“We are delighted that the Cook Government has introduced legislation to reform Western Australia’s outdated abortion laws,” he said.
“These reforms are critical and will make it safer and easier for women and pregnant people to access abortion care in Western Australia.
“Currently, a woman with an unplanned pregnancy over 20 weeks gestation has to travel interstate to access safe, legal abortion care. MSI Australia has supported some of these women with financial and other assistance – but it’s time Western Australia came into line with other States.
“The decision to take abortion out of the criminal code is a clear acknowledgment that abortion is a choice and a personal healthcare issue.
“Increasing the gestational limit and removing needless administrative barriers will remove a lot of stress and improve the overall wellbeing of those seeking care.”
MSI Australia’s Perth Nurse Unit Manager Emma Walraven said the abortion reforms would end unnecessary barriers to abortion care.
“Working directly with those in need of abortion care in Western Australia, I see the emotional toll that restrictive laws can take. The proposed changes in abortion law are a breath of fresh air,” she said.
“These reforms will mean our patients can access care in a more timely and less stressful manner.
“Removing the need for mandatory counselling and multiple GP referrals will streamline the process, enabling women and pregnant people to make timely decisions about their own bodies including when and how they access mental health support.
“With these reforms, we can focus on providing compassionate care without unnecessary legal and administrative hurdles.
“I’m thrilled to see the Western Australian Government taking these important steps.”
Women and pregnant people can book a teleabortion here.
Donate to the Choice Fund to support people experiencing financial hardship or other barriers to abortion and contraception care here.
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For further information contact Anna Jabour on 0428 396 391.
MSI Australia is the only national not-for-profit provider of sexual and reproductive health services including permanent and long-acting reversible contraception and abortion care. For more information on our clinic network visit msiaustralia.org.au