NT Health Minister, Natasha Fyles, has recently proposed huge changes to NT abortion laws that would remove existing safeguards and allow for serious and detrimental ramifications to women’s health. She has called for your opinion by late January when she intends drafting new legislation. The proposed changes included below are clearly not ‘an important step in modernising’ as enunciated by the Minister.

  • Removing the safeguard of abortion procedures needing to take place in the safety of a hospital where women can be appropriately cared for.
  • Providing the pesticide drug RU486 for use in ‘out-of-hospital’ settings.
  • Removing the right of doctors and nurses and other health professionals to conscientiously object to either provide, or refer, a woman for an abortion.
  • Removing the constitutional right to voice concern regarding the ethics of abortion.
  • Removing safeguards for women who may be pressured by a partner or family member to have an abortion.

It is the duty of our governments to protect their citizens from potential harm. Offering young women, many of whom live in rural communities a long way from any hospital emergency department, the human pesticide, RU486, puts them in harm’s way. RU486 is not as easy method of abortion, requiring multiple visits to a doctor and the administration of two drugs over several days causing powerful contractions endured without an aesthesia. The prolonged abortion is a lonely, painful experience that takes place away from medical supervision. The remains of the child may be visible to the woman who must then suffer the additional trauma of packaging up the dead foetus for disposal. Bleeding continues for a further two to three weeks.

Consultation is closing late January 2017 and therefore this is an urgent request for your attention.

Ms Fyles and all members of parliament need to hear from you NOW, letting them know that women facing unsupported pregnancies should be offered real support, not a removal of support, and the supply of a chemical which is harmful to them and their unborn child.

Please, write an email to your MP in the text box below, using some of the information provided here:

This proposed legislation disregards the recent Australian study of over 1000 abortions revealing 1 in every 18 patients who used RU486 had to be re-admitted to hospitals.  The study also revealed as many as 33% of women who had second trimester RU486 abortions required surgical intervention.

This is an unacceptably high failure rate which puts women’s lives in danger, especially NT women in remote communities who use RU486. Remoteness significantly compounds the potential serious ramification of complications.

Pro-choice and pro-life advocates agree that women facing unsupported pregnancies should be offered real support – not a removal of all support, and the supply of a chemical which is harmful to both them and their unborn child.