Law Abortion Reform – South Australia

30 October 2020

ANMF (SA Branch) has a long-standing policy position supporting legalisation of abortion services to women in the state.

Consistent with that policy position we have expressed support for the present legislative intention to decriminalise abortion in South Australia and to modernise the law in relation to these services.

We acknowledge the important step forward this Bill represents in removing the regulation of abortion from criminal law and recognising that termination of a pregnancy is a lawful health procedure. This outcome would see South Australia modernise the law and fully decriminalise abortion as has been the case in every other state already.

We also advocated for the recent passage of legislation to include safe access zone provisions around premises where abortion services are provided, in order to protect the safety and welfare and respect the privacy and dignity of those women accessing services.

Members have, through earlier policy debates and feedback on these most recent pieces of legislation, overwhelmingly supported the provision of safe accessible services to persons in need of them.  

In addition, members have largely supported the recommendations from the South Australian Law Reform Institute which has informed this legislative intent and will bring South Australia in line with other state and territory legislation.

ANMF (SA Branch) has advocated for legislation that acknowledges that the clinical landscape continues to evolve and is adaptable to changes to the nature of the health workforce. We support law reform that allows for appropriate extended scopes of practice for nurses and midwives in the future.

Furthermore, we have consistently advocated for provisions related to conscientious objection to ensure that members who do not believe that they can ethically participate in the provision of termination services are able to exclude themselves from such work.

ANMF (SA Branch) continues to acknowledge and respect the nurses, midwives and care workers (however titled) who hold minority, but deeply held views, which may be at odds with these positions. We consistently advise politicians that our policy positions are a majority view that continues to be opposed by a number of members.