Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cairns teenager charged over abortion

Dr Carole Ford of the Cairns Women’s Network is appalled that a young Cairns woman is facing charges under an antiquated Queensland law of the Criminal Code, for procuring an abortion.

She has been charged under section 225, which carries the possibility of 14 years imprisonment.

Dr Ford says that laws restricting abortion have a lengthy history.

“Yes they were first introduced before women were even recognised in law as competent adults. They no longer accurately represent the views of the electorate, with two-thirds of Australians supporting the decriminalisation of abortion”.

However, decriminalisation is in line with the current Labor Party policy, but despite forming the Government, they are reluctant to address the issue.

In Queensland, abortion is a crime under the Queensland Act, although generally regarded as lawful if performed to prevent serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health. Abortion is defined as unlawful in the 1899 Queensland Criminal Code. Women can be criminally prosecuted for accessing abortion:
  • Section 224. Any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.


  • Section 225. Any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to herself any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, or permits any such thing or means to be administered or used to her, is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.


  • Section 226. Any person who unlawfully supplies to or procures for any person anything whatever, knowing that it is intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.
“It seems an aggressive minority has managed to stifle debate and preclude change in Queensland," Dr Ford says. "Elected Members of Parliament are entitled to their personal viewpoint, but are entrusted with representing the beliefs and interests of their constituents. For many MPs, this is clearly not the case”.

The Cairns Women’s Network supports the right for women, including the Cairns teenager, to have reproductive autonomy and calls on the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the charges as they are not in the public interest.

Carole Ford urges the Attorney General to refer the issue of abortion to the Law Reform Commission, with a view to removing it from criminal law.

“The decisions a woman may make about terminating a pregnancy, for whatever reason, should be resolved in the surgery, not the court room. I encourage all members of the community who share our concern to take positive action to create legislative reform”.
  • On May 4th, people wearing purple and carrying purple balloons will join the May Day march, to demonstrate their support for the Cairns teenager and to petition for the decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Cairns Resident said...

I know someone who had an abortion because she wanted to build her business she didn't make enough money.

Her Mum agreed. She found a drunken Docter on the north side of town and presto new life no morals and on to bigger and better things.

Karma catches up to you in the end and that is our lot.

S.Northy said...

Excellent work by Dr. Ford. Go girls!

Church Lady said...

Abortion is murder.

This girl should be prosecuted for murder. That is the public interest.

Dutchie said...

I fail to see the public interest in having a mother that doesn't want or cannot afford a baby. I fail to see it being in the unborn baby's interest; nobody should be born unwanted.

Morally convenient said...

Abortion: Morally no worse than euthanasing unwanted cats and dogs. Probably better than the factory farming of chickens (and eggs) and pigs, or vealers (young calf's and lambs that your children coo over) which you place on your table. If you think being human makes you some sort of special animal, think again. Hitler thought that about the Aryan races to the detriment of those that weren't. Not so different really.

Anonymous said...
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Cairns Resident said...

I totally oppose the violence of abortion. It is a form of child abuse and it degrages women and children. No to all acts of violence be they abortion, domestic violence, war or capital punishment.

Unda said...

presumably the posters here opposing abortion are the same hypocrites who murder doctors and engage in outrageous thuggery against politicians, ordinary citizens and, especially, innocent and vulnerable women. they probably attend churches whose priests rape children prey on others in their supposed care, and whose bishops shelter the offenders, bully the victims into silence or pay them off with totally inadequate hush money.

kate said...

Abortion should be the choice of the individual and their circumstances. These laws were made to long ago to be adequate in today's society. Why is having an unwanted baby considered acceptable?

muse78 said...

I agree with Kate...since when is it any business of the public what a private citizen does with their own body! We live in a democratic nation, not a socialist/communist regime...we should have freedom of choice...just as those opposing it have the freedom to have their say!