I need to start by stating that my views and perspectives on this issue are not set in stone. I always aim to allow my opinions to change and encourage people who disagree with me to enter into a discussion with me because that way, we both grow in our knowledge.

In the Australian state that I live in, New South Wales, an abortion bill has just been passed in the lower house of the state government. It has now been sent to the upper house, however; some amendments could be made, prolonging the process for several weeks. In every Australian state, abortion is legal to protect the life and health of a woman, and in 6 of the 7 states, abortion is legal on request, however; in New South Wales, abortion is still a criminal offence.

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 allows for an abortion to take place up to 22 weeks and the approval of two doctors after 22 weeks. The second doctor does not have to see the patient, be independent, and there is no legal penalty if the rule is not observed, raising concerns about the possibility of late abortions taking place. Moreover, it raises issues regarding doctors and whether they have to refer for abortion. This is compounded by the broad, possible reasons for abortion after 22 weeks included in the bill, leading to a possible violation of doctors’ human rights as they are unable to exercise their conscience.

There are apparent issues with the current bill, but they are beginning to be recognised, and statute law can be amended. Regarding national unity, abortion should be legalised in Australia. Although Australia has state governments, their residual power is decreasing at an exponential rate, and a contentious issue such as abortion should have a national framework and platform which is currently not possible due to the differences in legislation between NSW and the other states. A national approach would be beneficial in increasing the safety of parents and children within the process and creating clear federal regulations.  

Furthermore, the argument which has been presented across social media is the line, “woman should be allowed to make decisions about their own body”. The basis of this comment I agree with. A group of men sitting in an office shouldn’t dictate the lives and decisions of women in the community, especially regarding an issue that his immensely personal and different in each circumstance.

Nevertheless, in a majority of cases, becoming pregnant is a choice. It is a choice to participate in sexual activity. It is not required by the law to be sexually active, there are no consequences for failing to be sexually active, and primarily, it’s a conscious decision. Moreover, in a majority of cases, it is a choice to have unprotected sex. There is no requirement to have unprotected sex, and this too is primarily a conscious decision. This is where I am left confused.

However, there are cases when abortion should always be available. If the woman has been denied the choice to sexual activity such as instances of rape or other situations, abortion should be available. Furthermore, the safety and health of the woman should also be prioritised over the child, and if this means that an abortion takes place, that is acceptable.

It is a moral issue, not a legal matter. This difference needs to be made clear, and this is where I stand. The law has to be exact in all cases, and regarding abortion, this is incredibly difficult as it is a personal issue which is different in every situation. Thus, abortion should not be a criminal offence as it is not a legal issue. However, we need to take a more in-depth look into the topic. Why are women having abortions? What can we do to assist women in making positive decisions? How can we support women before, during and after an abortion? These are the questions that must be answered and positively addressed.

We need to create a national framework and programs to support women in making decisions. We need to conduct research into why women are having abortions, and how we can find solutions. That could include increased education for youth regarding the safe practising of sexual activity or other measures.

Women are important and valuable members of society, and I don’t want to sit here as a young male thinking that I know everything and that my opinion is somehow more valid than someone else’s. I will continue to read, continue to listen and continue to learn because this issue is becoming more relevant within society. Positive and productive discussions need to take place, and I hope that this article can assist in allowing for that. So what do you think, should abortion be legalised?

15 thoughts on “Should abortion be legalised?

  1. You are wise and I agree with your take on this. Except for one thing … when you say that getting pregnant is a choice … I have to wince and say, weeeeelllll … yes, and no. Yes, it is a choice, and a woman can “just say no”, but keep in mind those raging teenage hormones. A number of abortions, at least in this country, are teenagers who are in no way prepared either financially or emotionally to take on raising a child. My take, whether it’s a teenager, or a single mom already struggling to make ends meet, is that it’s more cruel to bring an unwanted child, or a child who will be either neglected or abused, into this world than to abort a fetus. Here in the U.S., the anti-abortion groups will say, “well, there’s always adoption”, but the sad reality is that few children are adopted, and a much higher percentage end up in the foster care system, often in homes where they are not well cared for. One of the biggest ironies here is that those same anti-abortion groups wish to de-fund organizations that provide reproductive education and counseling, the very things that it has been proven will reduce unwanted pregnancies, and thus the need for abortions. They also fight against birth control being paid for by insurance companies. They claim that abstinence is the only legitimate form of birth control, but that is not a practical answer! So, it is a multi-faceted issue, and one that requires a number of changes in the way society as a whole views things. Some states here have attempted to pass strict anti-abortion laws, even calling for 20-year prison sentences for the doctor who would perform an abortion, and lesser prison sentences for the woman. Their goal is to take the matter to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. So, while yes I think we need better solutions to stop unwanted pregnancies, a woman should not be denied the right to choice, nor made to feel like a criminal. Good post!

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    1. Thank you for this response Jill, I really agree with what you are saying and I think it is a difficult balance. Because the legislation in my state in Australia has not gone through the government as fast as they would have liked, there is now a lot of protests from groups and it looks like the bill could drag on for a long time which I don’t think is beneficial for anyone. I totally agree with you that funding needs to continue for reproductive education and counseling, to be honest, the teenage argument is one that I think I will have to continue to work through. And I think because it is different for each women and family, it is hard to make one underlying comment on abortion as a whole.

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      1. As with most things, there is no neat little pre-packaged solution, no panacea. Humans are imperfect, we make mistakes, but we shouldn’t be made to pay for our mistakes for the rest of our lives. I am often tempted, when I hear men ranting against a woman’s right to choose an abortion, to tell them that fine, women should be able to decide if they can get Viagra, or perhaps have mandatory vasectomies … that would solve the unwanted pregnancy issue, yes? 😉 (I’m just joking, of course)

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      2. Yes I do see where your coming from and I do agree with you that our mistakes shouldn’t ruin our lives. I think abortion will be legalised in my state very soon, but it has to be regulated and services need to be put in place to protect women and the other people involved.

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  2. Hey. I’ve always been on the side of pro-choice.
    And I enjoyed reading your view on this issue. And funny enough, the controversy on abortion is unending. Abortion should be legalized not even for moral sake(because then the idea of murder of an unborn innocent baby will be pleaded to our sentiment) but for a better sense of freedom for women. How can I be free if you decide if or not I should have a baby? Here in Nigeria in the criminal code in the south, abortion is criminalized no matter the circumstances while in the North it is only allowed when the health of he woman is at risk. Bottom line, there are valid points to both pro-life and pro-choice. They have advantages and disadvantages. Pro-life in a way curb fornication(which nowadays is no big deal) but it is a moral wrong in Nigeria. It’s frowned at, well I can’t really say that anymore.
    Anyway, a woman should have the choice to either keep her baby or abort it. She does not have lesser rights to decision merely because of her gender. Because at the end of the day the father of the child may run away but she is ‘stuck’ with the baby.
    Abortion should be legalized in Nigeria. That’s a whole topic entirely 😂

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    1. Thank you for this comment. Really interesting to hear your perspective from someone coming from a very different culture to mine. How do women in Nigeria feel at the moment with the restricting laws? Do abortions take place anyway through dangerous means? Because I think that is another valid argument to the pro-choice argument, that it ensures safety because women will have an abortion anyway

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      1. Oh yes it is another valid argument. Lol. The restrictive laws are doing more harm than good. As a result of low quality of health care facilities in Nigeria and the low standard of living, women are prone to go to quack doctors who of course does more harm. Many of these women die. Or their reproductive organs are damaged beyond measure. And let’s not forget the concoctions they take. The way the society frowns at abortion is article-worthy. Here in Nigeria, just to get contraceptives, the sellers give these judgement all faces. Now imagine getting pregnancy kits and all.
        It’s as bad as this: simply going to the clinic to get educated about contraceptives, the nurses give a cold shoulder and make you the discussion of the day.
        Women in Nigeria feel their rights are being violated. And to a point, it promotes the patriarchal system most customs here uphold. It is not even her decision to make but her husband’s. I guess some private hospitals do abortions at a high price of course. Nigerian doctors are not even taught the abortion procedures(from my source). What if there is an emergency?
        Lol.

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      2. Thank you for sharing this. I find it one of the great things about blogging is that I am able to gain a greater understanding into different areas of the world and it is deeply saddening to hear the suppression of women in your country. Do you see the possibility for change in the near future? Or is this a systemic issue which will take years to overcome?

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      3. You’re welcome. Well a possibility for chance in the near future? JUST MAYBE…I can’t say..Many of these leaders are hypocritical. While they may sign a prohibitory law on abortion, they could underground take someone for an abortion.
        It just might take years.

        With the way things are going and the old ones have refused to die, I don’t know.

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      4. Okay, sounds like a difficult time in your country. In my country, there has been a clear ‘youth uprising’ recently, especially in the issue of climate change where the youth are taking charge and leading to debate. Is there a strong youth, progressive movement in Nigeria?

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      5. Oh yes there are a few of them. Many advocates on this issue of abortion and other issues anyway. The right to freedom of speech is one thing but the right to actually be heard isn’t guaranteed. I don’t know if we, the youths are not doing enough or the government just doesn’t want to listen

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      6. Okay yes that does make it difficult. How is the government in Nigeria? I think in Australia it is easier for voices to be heard due to the democratic system with limited corruption compared to other countries which makes government ministers listen, or at least take notice of the acts of civilians.

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