TERMINATION of Pregnancy laws have come into effect today, giving Queensland women legal access to abortion services for the first time since 1899.
Health Minister Steven Miles said termination of pregnancy was no longer listed under the criminal code and Queensland women had the right to choose.
“The decision to terminate a pregnancy is never made lightly, but from today Queensland women will legally have that choice,” Mr Miles said.
“They will no longer have to fear criminal prosecution for making a decision about their body and their health, and can feel confident knowing they will receive the support they need.
“Our hardworking doctors and nurses can do their jobs without uncertainty and can knowingly providing a full range of safe, accessible and timely reproductive services.
“Termination clinics will also be protected from protestors, with the enforcement of safe-access zones, and their workers and patients will no longer be made to feel like second-class citizens.
“From today, Queensland has entered the 21st century.”
Mr Miles said a helpline had been set up through 13HEALTH so women and doctors could get impartial advice.
“We know that a number of the women who are calling the hotline are from rural and remote areas where support or information might not be a readily available,” he said.