Fact sheet

Fact Check: Will Queensland's proposed abortion laws allow unrestricted access after 22 weeks?

National Party of Australia Abortion Queensland
Protestors marched through the streets of Brisbane voicing their opposition to proposed changes to abortion laws in Queensland. Among them was Nationals senator for Queensland Matt Canavan, a cabinet minister, who addressed the crowd and spoke to reporters at the march. "[The proposed changes] would be some of the most radical and extreme legislation of abortions in the world, and it would allow, effectively...unrestricted abortions beyond 22 weeks," he said. Will the new laws, if passed, allow unrestricted access to abortion after 22 weeks? RMIT ABC Fact Check found Senator Canavan's claim is baseless. Experts told Fact Check that the bill before Parliament contained clear restrictions on abortions after 22 weeks' gestation. While abortions would be available on request up to 22 weeks, the bill would require two doctors to consider "all the circumstances" before performing an abortion after 22 weeks. Those circumstances included all relevant medical considerations, a woman's current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances, and take into account all relevant professional standards and guidelines. They also said the changes would be unlikely to increase the number of abortions carried out in Queensland, pointing to the experience of Victoria (which revamped its laws in 2008).
Verdict: Baseless
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