Abortion law reform

Caroline has been active for many years in attempts to reform and/or decriminalise abortion laws. There are currently nine different sets of laws across all Australian states and territories and the Commonwealth, providing a patchwork of laws, many of which limit women’s access to abortion simply because of where they live.

With many others, Caroline was involved in the successful 2006 campaign to allow mifepristone (RU486) to become available for Australian women, and in the very successful campaigns in both Victoria (2008) and Tasmania (2013) that have led to decriminalisation in both those states, and in Tasmania to the introduction of much-needed mandatory exclusion zones to protect clients visiting abortion clinics from harassment by protesters. She continues to be active in efforts to decriminalise the archaic Victorian-era abortion legislation that remains in force in NSW and Queensland. In 2014 she was invited by the NT department of health to study and report on current abortion services in the Territory, and to make recommendations to improve these; this report is currently being studied by members of the NT parliament.

Caroline has written widely, with colleagues from Queensland and other states, on the current state of abortion law and services across the country, and the urgent need for the reform of that law and improvements in services. Recent publications can be seen at jcu website and jcu research profile.

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