The Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne has released a draft bill to move abortion out of the Criminal Code, making it equivalent to any other surgical procedure.

The proposed Reproductive Health Bill seeks to follow Victoria's 2008 lead in decriminalising abortion for any reason up until 24 weeks.

The legislation would also effectively criminalise pro-life counselling by imposing significant penalties for doctors and counsellors who are unwilling to refer women to pro-abortion service providers, as well as penalising any kind of protest within 150 metres of an abortion clinic.

Decriminalising abortion could, as has been the case in Victoria, lead to more abortions and in particular more late term abortions.

A recent Galaxy poll of 300 respondents (aged 16-49), commissioned by Emily's Voice, found that Tasmanians are opposed (73%) to late-term abortions (after 20 weeks), when the child has mild disabilities (59%), for the purposes of sex selection (92%), when continuing a pregnancy would cause financial hardship (66%), affect the mother's career (79%), or when parents feel they have enough children (63%) [1]

We encourage you to get on board with ACL's 'Make a Stand' campaign against abortion in Tasmania by writing a submission to the public consultation.

Submissions can be sent via email to [email protected]

Alternatively, mail your submission to:

Population Health Equity

GPO Box 125, Hobart TAS 7001 

Submissions are due by 5pm Friday 5 April 2013 (an extension on previous submission date of 22/3/13).

Visit ACL's 'Make a Stand' campaign page for more information on what you can say in your submission, and for more resources.


[1] Emily’s Voice, Tasmanians opposed to abortion, March 15, 2013, Media Release,