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Australian State Decriminalizes Abortion

In Australia, the state Parliament of Victoria voted Friday to decriminalize abortion. The bill was subject to lengthy debate before it passed with a 23-17 vote. While the legislation is not a national mandate, Victoria is one of the most populated Australian states.

As a result of this vote, Victorian women will have access to abortion services in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy and will have access to later term abortion services with the consent of two doctors.

Victoria Parliamentarian Colleen Hartland, one of the most visible supporters of this legislation, told ABC Radio that “The first thing I thought of was, ‘I’m no longer a criminal.’ And other women in Victoria can no longer be branded as criminals because we want to take control over our fertility and want to take control over our lives.”

Sources:

ABC News Radio 10/11/08; Australian Bureau of Statistics; Parliament of Victoria