26 September 2023

New regulations finalise abortion laws

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New laws to decriminalise the termination of a pregnancy are to come into effect this week (7 July), more than a year after being passed by the State Parliament.

Announced by Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton, the Termination of Pregnancy Regulations 2022 – which are required for the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2021 to come into effect – have been finalised, 16 months after the legislation was passed.

“The Act removes termination of pregnancy procedures from the criminal legal system with the regulations now part of health law,” Mr Picton said.

He said the legislation removed a reason for a termination of pregnancy if the person was not more than 22 weeks and six days pregnant, required consultation with one medical practitioner if a gestation period had not exceeded 22 weeks and six days and permitted prescription via telemedicine and removed the requirement that the treatment took place in a hospital for early medical abortion.

He said the Act also required consultation with two medical practitioners who both agreed on the circumstances for the termination for gestation periods exceeding 22 weeks and six days.

Mr Picton said the regulations were drafted in consultation with the Statewide Termination of Pregnancy Committee.

He said information on the legislation and regulations was being sent to GPs and pharmacists so they were fully informed before the regulations came into effect.

“We have moved forward with these regulations to deliver on what the Parliament voted for,” Mr Picton said.

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