Prior to 2008, abortion law was based on Victorian Crimes Act as interpreted by the 1969 Menhennitt decision in R. v. Davidson. According to the ruling, abortions were legal if necessary to protect the woman from a serious danger to her life or health – beyond the normal dangers of pregnancy and childbirth – that would occur if the pregnancy were to continue, and is not disproportionate to the danger avoided. Menhennitt`s decision remained the basis of Victoria`s abortion law until the Abortion Act Reform Act 2008 (Vic) decriminalised abortions up to a 24-week pregnancy limit. A surgical abortion involves surgery to empty the uterus. This is mostly done during the first trimester, but in some states and territories, you can have one at the 24th week of pregnancy. Since 1. In July 2018, it is illegal to protest within 150 meters of an abortion ward.   The other three reasons for allowing abortion are more restrictive than the first, but do not constitute a legal obligation to notify the pregnant woman. The second reason is that the pregnant woman “will suffer serious personal, family or social consequences” if the abortion is not performed. (166) The third reason is that there is a “serious risk to the physical or mental health” of the pregnant woman if the abortion is not performed.
(167) The fourth reason is that the pregnant woman`s pregnancy “poses a serious threat to her mental health”. (168) Private clinics in Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast. General practitioners in urban and regional areas offer medical abortion. Some public hospitals and sexual health clinics throughout the state. Currently, faith-based (religious) hospitals and health care providers are not required to offer abortions. However, liberalization is relatively new. Two years ago, women from Tasmania said they had travelled to the mainland for surgical abortions because it was easier than any other in the island nation. Now, the state`s conservative government has made the procedure available at three public hospitals. It is also a criminal offence to communicate by any means relating to abortion that is reasonably likely to cause stress or anxiety, including protest, within 150 metres of a clinic.
He reached this conclusion by reference to the offence of destruction of children under section 1 of the Preservation of Infants` Life Act 1929. (22) The legal reservation on this offence provides that a person may not be guilty of infanticide if he has acted in good faith to preserve the life of his mother. (23) Macnaghten J. held that a similar reservation should be read to section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, although these specific words were omitted from that section. Thus, a person would not be guilty of the crime of illegal abortion if he had acted in good faith to preserve the life of the mother. Glanville Williams went on to argue that Macnaghten J.`s interpretation of section 58 was based on the defence of necessity: abortion is legal in Australia. It has been completely decriminalized in all jurisdictions, starting with Western Australia in 1998 and finally South Australia in 2022. Access to abortion varies by state and territory: surgical abortions are available on demand during the first 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, but with no limit on the length of pregnancy in the Australian Capital Territory. Late-term abortions usually require approval from two doctors, but are severely restricted in Western Australia after 20 weeks. There are different rules about when and how women have access to abortion depending on where they live [There was] evidence before Newman J. that the plaintiff`s mental health was severely affected in a perfectly foreseeable manner after the birth of the child. This was the result of the combined pressure to have an unwanted baby in an unstable emotional relationship.
This, in turn, had forced her to abandon her studies. This had prevented her from obtaining full-time employment in the discipline of her choice. The impact of these factors both on the mental health of the mother. must not be trivialized. They are also not uncommon in today`s society. (90) In Tasmania, abortion was decriminalised in 2013 following the entry into force of the Access to Termination Act 2013. Levine was subsequently reviewed by a New South Wales court in K v. 1982.
Minister of Youth and Community Services. (75) This case concerned a 15 and a half year old who was a ward of the State. She was 12 weeks pregnant and wanted an abortion. His guardian, the Minister of Youth and Community Services, refused permission. The only reason he gave for refusing was that he thought it was too late to legally perform abortion. The ward`s mother initiated legal proceedings on behalf of her daughter and sought court orders to authorize the proceedings. Justice Helsham, of the Fairness Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, made such orders. He did so in the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction or parens patriae of the court to intervene so that decisions were taken in the best interests of the minor. The orders directed the Minister to give all necessary consents for the service to be released from its home institution for the purpose of abortion. Penovic`s 2021 study, published in the Women`s Studies International Forum, found that the top three non-legal barriers to access to abortion were financial, geographic, and “gaps in the recruitment, education, and training of practitioners.” “Of course we don`t want to see abortions,” Abetz said. The plaintiff further alleged that Dr. Backwell improperly failed to draw her attention to the following: that it was possible that the pregnancy resulted from previous inseminations with the correct sperm, that if the pregnancy was due to insemination with the wrong sperm, there was probably a spontaneous miscarriage, that tests could be performed to determine if the fetus was Rhesus positive, and that advice would help the applicant.
(46) The applicant testified that Dr. Backwell`s conduct led her to believe that she had no alternative to abortion. As a result, she requested and obtained an abortion. Since the abortion, the applicant had suffered from anxiety and clinical depression. In South Australia, residents of South Australia can stay until the age of 23. Have an early medication or surgical abortion during the week of pregnancy. Since 1 January 2021, 150-metre secure access zones around abortion clinics have been set up.   Second, Kirby A-CJ clarified that under Levine, a physician is entitled to consider social and economic factors when assessing whether a woman`s mental health would be seriously threatened if her pregnancy continued.
(87) Abortion in New South Wales was legalised in October 2019 following the passage of the Abortion Law Reform Act (NSW) Act 2019 by Parliament. Prior to the new law, abortion in New South Wales was explicitly listed as a crime under sections 82 to 84 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) since 1900, but the interpretation of the law is subject to the Levine decision of R v Wald of 1971, which was itself derived from the Victorian Menhennitt judgment. which considered an abortion to be legal if a physician honestly and reasonably believed that the abortion was necessary for “any economic, social or medical reason or reason” in order to “protect the woman concerned from a serious danger to her life or physical or mental health that the continuation of the pregnancy would entail.”  The architects of Australia`s first law to decriminalize abortion argue that the repeal of Roe v Wade in the United States was a major setback for reproductive rights and that further changes are needed in the United States to better entrench access.