Claims that liberalised abortion laws will be a positive for women in domestic violence situations are not borne out by facts with almost one in five women experiencing violence for the first time when pregnant, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

Professor Heather Douglas, from the University of Queensland’s TC Beirne School of Law to Queensland told the Queensland abortion inquiry yesterday that women find it difficult to leave their abusive partners unless abortion is decriminalised.

However, ACL spokesperson for women, Wendy Francis, said violent men would often force abortions on women where abortion safeguards were absent.

“Forced-abortions is an escalation of the violence that women may face. Unless the law is there to protect women from having abortions, it will lead to more abortions against the will of women,” Ms Francis said.

“Pregnancy is a particularly vulnerable time for women and is a time when violence often increases. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 17 per cent of women experience violence for the first time when they are pregnant.

“The Rob Pyne Abortion Bill removes protection from violent men who coerce abortion.

“By providing abortion safeguards the government will be empowering women to make decisions for themselves about the future of the baby.

“The Rob Pyne Abortion Bill will be a free kick for violent men to continue to exert their power over women.”

Read what Queenslanders really think about abortion -Galaxy Opinion Poll May 2016

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