WGNRR: September 28 Global Day of Action website


We are very excited to announce that the website for the September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion is now live!

This website is a platform for all reproductive justice activists who have chosen to mobilise on September 28 Global Day of Action to make their demands heard. The website records the actions individuals, organizations and governments worldwide are taking to defend, protect and fulfill women’s right to accessible, safe and legal abortion. It offers resources and educational materials on abortion rights advocacy as well as equips activists with hands on materials for action taking.


We encourage you to share your planned activities for September 28 and we welcome your agreement to feature your activities and your calls for action along with your logos on the website.  You can see the examples of the planned actions by several organizations which mobilise for September 28 in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America here:


If you wish your activity to be featured on the website, please send us an email to following the suggested format:


Name of the Organisation:



Name of the event:


Location of the event and contact details:


(Please indicate the exact address and the contact numbers – optional)


Type of the event:

(Public action: street demonstration, banner-drops, information stands, street play, flash mob, photo/art exhibit; Awareness raising activity: forum, meeting, workshop/training, cultural event; Other, please specify)


Short description of the event:


(Please tell us what your event is all about; who is your target audience; how many attendees you expect to have; what issues you will address; who will be your speakers; what outcomes/results do you expect the event to achieve; how will you involve young people; any other relevant information)


Do you mind if the information about your event is mentioned on September 28 website?   Yes/No


(We will appreciate if we can mention the information about your event, so that those interested can join in action. However, if you have any security concerns, please inform us)


Furthermore, we have developed visual materials for WGNRR members, partners, and all reproductive justice activists to be used on the Day of Action, which we gladly share with the members of the International Campaign. The materials can be downloaded, printed and further distributed through your networks or used during your event. All downloadable materials in English, French, Spanish can be found here:


If you wish to have materials translated into other languages to accommodate different contexts, we can easily assist you with translation and design.
So check out the website – explore, get inspired, and connect with other groups and individuals, and together let’s build towards a powerful global day of action to demand access to safe and legal abortion!


In Solidarity,



The conference on abortion to be held this weekend in Seville has claimed its first victim before birth. The hotel that will host is the victim of a relentless campaign of harassment by anti-abortion organizations in a desperate and probably futile attempt not to hold the meeting.

The Meliá Sevilla hosts from today until next Saturday, the ninth congress of the International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception (FIAPAC), with the participation of professionals from over 40 countries, and has the backing of the Ministry Health of the Andalusian and the city of Seville.

Well, your say, and organizations like Right to Life have announced a boycott of the hotel Meliá Group, with a view to concluding in Madrid, the World Congress of Families (WCF), bringing together in 2012 to about 1,100 people in the capital of Spain.

These organizations pro-life, in fact, have warned that withdrawing from the documentation of that conference, organized by both, any reference to each and every one of the group’s hotels, to prevent participants in the same staying in them.

“The decision to withdraw the facilities of Meliá Group of documentation that will be served prior to the Congress,” said in a statement a spokesman for these associations, “has been taken because the hotel group is hosting this weekend the congress muncial of the magnates of the abortion industry, which discussed how to improve techniques to streamline its procedures at the time of killing children. ”

The organizers of the anti-abortion conference in Madrid warn that this boycott will extend to all events organized by any of the associations that are after the conference.
Great protest

The congress this weekend in Seville in Seville not only meet the professionals who participate in it, but thousands of antiabortion activists who arrived in Spain, for what they have chartered buses that depart from cities such as Avila, Cadiz, Granada, Jaén, Madrid, Malaga and even a plane from Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The Pro-Life and the Spanish Family Forum, which have joined the boycott Meliá Group, have called for Saturday, October 23 demonstration at the gates of the hotel hosting the conference, from 12.00.

Not the only protest the weekend about the conclusion of the congress in Seville FIAPAC. On Friday, October 22, at night, at 21.00, Men’s Forum for Equality has called a rally at Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes, under the motto “Criminalizing abortion is sexist violence.”
The hotel employer calls for restraint

The Hotel Association of Seville and Province has rejected a statement the campaign of “harassment and demolition excessive and disproportionate, that from certain social groups are being encouraged in recent days” against the Meliá Sevilla, and by extension against Meliá.

Sevilla hotel employers also made “an appeal to reason and sanity, rejects all about the pronouncements that have circulated over the network, leading to excess, and urges the co-convenor of the merger, which seems to be that will celebrate in front of the Hotel, to resolve their differences, legitimate, in this field with other media and in other areas and social forums.

Abortion, a Bargaining Chip in Campaign for Runoff
By Fabiana Frayssinet

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 15, 2010 (IPS) – The issue of abortion has turned into a weapon that threatens to take away votes from the candidates in the campaign for the second round of presidential elections in Brazil, with conservative religious groups using it as a bargaining chip in exchange for their support.

But this situation does not reflect the position of the majority of voters, who are in favour of the decriminalisation of abortion, say analysts and representatives of the women’s movement, which criticise the use of women’s bodies as a means of electoral pressure.

The question of whether abortion, which is currently punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Brazil, should be legalised has become a flashpoint issue in the campaign for the Oct. 31 runoff vote between Dilma Rousseff of the governing Workers Party (PT) and her rival José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB).

Earlier indications that Rousseff favoured the legalisation of abortion were seen as the main reason she failed to win outright in the first round of voting, on Oct. 3.

As in most of Latin America, abortion is illegal in Brazil except in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger.

A decisive number of voters defected from the Rousseff camp to Green Party candidate Marina Silva, an evangelical Christian.

Silva, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s (no relation) former environment minister, is opposed to abortion and proposed holding a referendum on whether or not it should be legalised.

The Green candidate’s strong performance was the big surprise on Oct. 3, when she took nearly 20 percent of the vote, behind Rousseff, who won 47 percent, and Serra, who garnered close to 33 percent.

According to a Vox Populi poll published Wednesday by the IG Internet portal, Rousseff now has 48 percent support, compared to Serra’s 40 percent.

In this month’s campaign, Rousseff and Serra are presenting themselves as champions of the moral crusade against the decriminalisation of abortion, even though in the past both of them have expressed openness to women’s right to choose.

Beatriz Galli with Ipas Brazil — the national branch of Ipas, an international network that works for the sexual and reproductive rights of women worldwide — told IPS she regrets that the debate has been reduced “to being against or in favour of abortion or in favour of life.”

The PT candidate had earlier stated that progress should be made towards the decriminalisation of abortion. But now her web site emphasises that she is “personally against abortion.”

Alongside a photo of the recent baptism of her first grandson, she states that “it would be odd for me to be in favour of abortion after this manifestation of life in the bosom of my family.”

Rousseff says abortion is “violence against women,” although she adds that if she is elected, her government “will not deal with it as an issue for the police, but as a public health and social issue.”

Serra has followed a similar line. While in 1998, as health minister under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2003), he helped secure the approval of public health guidelines for the legal practice of abortion in cases of rape, he now warns that the legalisation of abortion would lead to “carnage.”

He has also used campaign slogans describing himself as “a man who was never caught up in scandals and who has always been consistent, condemning abortion and defending life” or as “a family man,” in an attempt to strike a contrast with Rousseff, who is divorced and who took part as a young woman in the armed struggle against the 1964-1985 dictatorship.

But Galli said “This is a false dilemma, because the central issue is whether the state should criminalise something that is a public health question, placing women’s health and lives at risk because it forces them to seek clandestine abortions.”

According to conservative estimates from Brazil’s national health system, the Sistema Único de Saúde, at least 1.5 million illegal abortions a year are performed in this country of 192 million people, and 250,000 women are hospitalised for abortion-related complications, which are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality.

Galli argued that an issue involving the human rights of women cannot be reduced to a religious question.

A study by University of Brasilia professor Débora Diniz, an anthropologist and a researcher at the Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender, found that one out of five women interviewed had had an abortion before the age of 40.

And of the respondents who had undergone an abortion, 88 percent said they were religious — a revealing figure in the country with the largest number of Catholics in the world, and where evangelical churches are growing at breakneck speed.

“These women’s stories cannot be ignored because of the frenzied race for the votes of religious communities that consider abortion an abominable crime,” Diniz wrote in an article.

“Abortion has become a bargaining chip to win votes,” she added, maintaining that the political concessions made by the two candidates are “threats to democracy” because they compromise the principle of the separation of church and state.

Guacira César de Oliveira, director and founder of the Feminist Centre for Studies and Advisory Services (CFEMEA), told IPS that a biased analysis has been made, which “requires the two candidates to take a certain stance against abortion, as if that were the only way to win the elections.”

Oliveira blames this situation on “an offensive by the conservative right and religious fundamentalists” which has managed to put abortion at the centre of the campaign, ahead of other issues that also contributed to Rousseff’s failure to win the 50 percent of the vote she needed to avoid a runoff.

Analysts point, for example, to corruption allegations against the Lula administration, which Rousseff formed part of from early 2003 to last March, first as energy minister and then as chief of staff — especially an influence-peddling scandal that forced Erenice Guerra, who succeeded Rousseff as chief of staff and was one of her closest aides, to resign.

Oliveira said the “demonisation” of abortion in the campaign did not reflect the opinion of the majority of voters. She pointed out that many women resort to unsafe abortion “in order to be able to determine how many children they want and are able to have.

“Women’s wombs must not be a bargaining chip in these elections,” she complained.

Carmen Silva, an educator at the SOS Corpo Feminist Institute for Democracy, agrees that what is happening is a manipulation by “religious fundamentalism,” which has grown worldwide, and which in Brazil has been associated with “the big media, rightwing politicians and members of the military nostalgic for the military dictatorship.”

Oliveira and Silva both stressed that abortion has crowded out other women’s issues, such as political participation, assistance for victims of violence, and equal employment opportunities.

“With so many issues that are crucial to democracy and fundamental rights, like education, public security or social security, it’s strange that there is an effort to make sure that the new president of Brazil will be determined by his or her position on abortion,” Diniz stated.

Campaigner calls for a rethink of ‘restrictive’ rules

By Patrice Dougan
Saturday, 9 October 2010

Pro-choice campaigners have called for Northern Ireland’s “restrictive” abortion laws to be modernised.

Writing in today’s Belfast Telegraph, Dr Audrey Simpson from the Family Planning Association said: “It’s time for change.”

The call comes as the first all-Ireland conference on abortion and clinical practice was held at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.

Northern Ireland is currently the only part of the UK where abortion is illegal.

The conference was marred by campaigners trying to prevent it from going ahead, and medical professionals were yesterday faced with around 140 protesters armed with placards and images of abortion as they entered the gates of the hotel.

The conference was branded “absolutely outrageous” by Precious Life director Bernie Smyth, who said organisers had an “audacity to organise an abortion conference in a country where abortion is illegal”.

“The vast majority of people here are opposed to abortion and are offended and outraged that this conference is taking place,” she said. “Unionists and nationalists alike, it’s the one thing that unites both communities.”

She said politicians had come out of a political conference taking place in the same hotel to show their support to the pro-life campaign.

The group has also lodged an official complaint with the PSNI asking them to investigate the legality of the conference.

Questioning the legality of the conference, Mrs Smyth said: “What the organisers and speakers at this conference are doing in incitement — encouraging health professionals here to commit the crimes of illegal abortion and child destruction.”

A police spokesperson confirmed officers were dealing with the complaint, and said if criminal offences are identified “appropriate action” will be taken.

But the Family Planning Association, who helped organise the event, said this was a “desperate” attempt to stop the conference taking place.

Director for the association in Northern Ireland, Mrs Simpson, said they “wouldn’t bow down to such hostile tricks”, and the event had “continued regardless”.

She said the protests had not affected the event, and the media attention provided by the pro-life groups had in fact generated “a significant amount of publicity”.

“Once again it’s bringing attention to the fact that women in Northern Ireland are no different from women in the rest of the UK,” she said. “Many women, for various reasons, are choosing to end an unplanned pregnancy and they are no different from women in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Italy and throughout Europe.

She said for the almost 100 women who have legal abortions in Northern Ireland every year, and the thousands who travel abroad to have the procedure carried out, the medical practitioners here must be fully capable of looking after them.

Pro-life lobby gets vocal amid heavy security

Situated right on the seafront, the Slieve Donard Hotel commands spectacular views of both the Mournes and the Irish Sea. But those sights were lost yesterday.

As mist covered the mountains, most people’s attention was on the singing, praying Protesters standing firm at the gates. The protesters carried placards and banners with slogans like “doctors of death not wanted in Ireland”, and branding medical staff who carry out abortions as “worse than the abusers of Baby P”.

Around 140 people in all came from across Northern Ireland and the Republic to object to the first all-Ireland conference on abortion and clinical |practice.

Crowds surrounded the mini-roundabout at the entrance to the Slieve Donard Hotel, where dozens of police officers were stationed. A political conference was also being held in the venue and security was high.

This was stepped up after a protester attempted to enter the abortion conference. The woman was stopped by staff when her name was not on the list of delegates and she could not identify herself.

Precious Life director Bernie Smyth denied anybody connected to the pro-life group was involved.

“That’s outrageous,” she said. “It’s not in our interest to be inside the conference, it’s in our interest to be outside. That’s a distraction from what we are doing. That’s trying to put a negative spin on a very well-represented, successful protest.”

Demonstrators, many accompanied by children or babies in prams, wore yellow smiley-face stickers, which declared “I’m pro-life”.

Others sang hymns in the direction of the hotel, while others prayed. Two brothers from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal had come from Londonderry to show their support for the pro-life movement.

Patsy and Kerry McAuley, with the Choose Life group, had travelled from Ballymena to be there. They said they were protesting against people “trying to legalise abortion and the killing of the unborn”.

“There’s been enough bloodshed in this country without the bloodshed of our innocents,” said Mrs McAuley.

Bernadette Ferreira, from the Sacred Heart of Jesus pro-life group in Derry, said people were protesting to “protect our unborn children”.

“They say they are for women,” she said of pro-abortion groups. “But the most vulnerable woman in society is the woman in the womb, and where are our rights as women if we don’t have the first basic right to be born?

“What they are planning in the name of women is hypocrisy and biased.”

But Family Planning Association director Audrey Simpson said the conference had received support from politicians throughout the day. However, most could not openly declare themselves as pro-choice because of their party’s policies, she said.

Read more:

29. 9. 2010


über die Standvergabe an christliche Abtreibungsgegner auf der Jugendmesse YOU

In Berlin findet vom 1.-3. Oktober 2010 die etablierte Jugendmesse YOU statt, auf der Jugendliche von Unternehmen und Institutionen über Berufe, soziale Bewegungen und Konsumartikel informiert werden.

Mit grossen Beunruhigen mussten wir feststellen, dass dort auch organisierte Abtreibungsgegner der Aktion Lebensrecht für Alle (ALFA) einen Stand haben.

Organisationen wie ALFA fördern keine sexuelle Aufklärung, keinen Zugang zu Verhütungsmitteln oder die Anerkennung der sexuellen Selbstbestimmung als wirkungsvolle Mittel, um ungewollte Schwangerschaften zu verhindern. Sie beschränken sich allein auf die Dämonisierung der Abtreibung und, wenn auch als Fürsorglichkeit getarnt, auf die emotionale Erpressung von Mädchen und Frauen.

Die Arbeit von ALFA hat nichts mit Meinungsfreiheit zu tun, denn sie verbreiten wissentlich falsche oder veraltete Informationen und Horrorgeschichten über Schwangerschaftsabbrüche, um Mädchen einzuschüchtern. Z.B. verteilen sie kleine Plastikpuppen, die ein Baby, das am Daumen lutscht, darstellen soll und behaupten, dass ein Embryo in der 10. Schwangerschaftswoche so aussehen würde. Dies entspricht nicht der Realität. Zudem stellen sie u.a. Unfruchtbarkeit und lebenslange Depressionen als zwangsläufige Konsequenzen eines Abbruchs dar. Das ist besonders perfide, da emotionale Probleme mit solchen Plastikpuppen und ihrer unwissenschaftlichen Behauptung, Abtreibung töte Kinder, erst ausgelöst oder verstärkt werden sollen.

Jugendliche nehmen die Anbieter der Messe als Autorität wahr und oft sind sie nicht in der Lage, deren Informationen zu überprüfen. Dies wiegt umso schwerer, da Abtreibung ein Thema ist, bei dem Mädchen emotional sehr verletzlich sind und das ihre ganze Lebensplanung beeinflussen kann.

ALFA vertritt ein fundamentalistisch-christliches Weltbild und verfolgt das Ziel des ausnahmslosen Verbots von Schwangerschaftsabbrüchen – auch bei Schwangerschaften, die durch Vergewaltigung und Inzest ausgelöst wurden oder bei Schwangerschaften, die die Gesundheit der Frau beeinträchtigen.

Dieses zutiefst undemokratische Anliegen stellen sie den Jugendlichen aber als soziales Engagement für Menschenrechte des Ungeborenen dar, ohne die Konsequenzen für Mädchen und Frauen zu erwähnen.

Es sollte offen problematisiert werden, dass eine Jugendmesse solchen Organisationen, die religiöse Demagogie wissenschaftlichen und sozialen Fakten vorzieht, aus Geldgier die Türen öffnet, um junge Leute vor Manipulation und Falschinformationen zu schützen.

Für weitere Fragen stehen wir Ihnen gerne zu Verfügung


Pro Choice Berlin

(V.iS.P. Sarah Diehl, Wrangelstr. 80, 10997 Berlin, 0163 7325446)

The government of Ecuador blocked the phone line of the Ecuadorian hotline, where women can get help to get a safe abortion despite its illegality.

But the women already have re-established a new phone number:


Formato Carta de Apoyo Salud Mujeres –

Nos declaramos en rebeldía, seguiremos entregando información con nuestro nuevo número 098301317

Salud Mujeres es una línea gratuita que brinda información a las mujeres sobre cómo pueden realizarse un aborto de forma segura mediante el uso de medicamentos. También informamos acerca de anticoncepción, incluyendo la de emergencia, y sexualidad en general. Nuestra acción se enmarca en la legislación del país, concretamente en el artículo 18 de la Constitución vigente, por lo cual es constitucional y legal.

Trabajamos en defensa de los derechos de las mujeres: a tener acceso a la información, a la salud, a tomar decisiones informadas sobre su vida sexual y reproductiva, a no sufrir discriminación por su sexo, a tener acceso a los avances de la ciencia y la tecnología, a la libertad de expresión, a la libertad de conciencia, a la libertad religiosa, a la privacidad, a no ser sometidas a trato cruel, inhumano y degradante, a decidir el número de hijos e

hijas que quiere tener y el intervalo entre sus nacimientos, a decidir si quiere ser madre o no y, a la vida; derechos todos respaldados en nuestra constitución y en las múltiples convenciones de derechos humanos de las que nuestro país es signatario.

Aclaramos también que nosotras no aconsejamos, no obligamos, ni inducimos a ninguna mujer a tomar ninguna decisión, pues uno de nuestros principios fundamentales es el reconocimiento a la capacidad e inteligencia que tenemos todas mujeres para tomar decisiones sobre nuestras vidas y nuestra reproducción. Nuestro trabajo se encuentra comprometido con todas las mujeres que requieran la información que se da a través de nuestra línea, es un trabajo voluntario y desinteresado de activistas feministas que luchamos en

contra del sistema patriarcal-capitalista-heterosexista de nuestro país y el mundo. Trabajamos para destruir las limitaciones a las decisiones de las mujeres y para disminuir las muertes de ellas por abortos inseguros.

El día de ayer, Domingo 12 de septiembre de 2010, el número telefónico de Salud Mujeres, 099004545, fue bloqueado por Movistar, por una orden enviada desde la Fiscalía General del Estado Ecuatoriano.

Frente a esta acción, y en uso de nuestros derechos fundamentales

constitucionalmente reconocidos, nos declaramos en resistencia y seguiremos entregando información: el nuevo número de Salud Mujeres es 098301317.

Nos declaramos en desacuerdo con las normas penales que discriminan a las mujeres y violan la constitución, con aquellas que nos obligan a asumir maternidades que no queremos, y con las que intentan callarnos para seguir manteniendo el aborto y la sexualidad de las mujeres en el silencio y el tabú.

Es por esta razón que pedimos apoyo de la gente, organizaciones y colectivos que conocen nuestro trabajo y que también están en desacuerdo con las leyes que criminalizan a las mujeres, necesitamos apoyo para difundir nuestro nuevo número y para evitar que estas acciones de persecución continúen. Envíennos su apoyo o adhiéranse al formato adjunto, llenándolo y enviándolo a

Agradecemos su colaboración.

Salud Mujeres


European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics held a Platform´s meeting last Wednesday 15 September on the subject of “Conscientious Objection in Medicine”.

The aim of the Platform is to initiate debate on secularism in politics. The Platform reaches out to a wide group of people, including practitioners, experts and the civil society.

Please find below the links to the videotaped contributions.

F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex | e-mail: | Tel: + 33 3 88 41 2000 | Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 33

Doc. 12347

20 July 2010

Women’s access to lawful medical care: the problem of

unregulated use of conscientious objection


Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee

Rapporteur: Ms Christine McCAFFERTY, United Kingdom, Socialist Group


The practice of conscientious objection arises in the field of health care when healthcare providers refuse to

provide certain health services based on religious, moral or philosophical objections. While recognising the

right of an individual to conscientiously object to performing a certain medical procedure, the Social, Health

and Family Affairs Committee is deeply concerned about the increasing and largely unregulated occurrence

of this practice, especially in the field of reproductive health care, in many Council of Europe member states.

There is a need to balance the right of conscientious objection of an individual not to perform a certain

medical procedure with the responsibility of the profession and the right of each patient to access lawful

medical care in a timely manner.

The Parliamentary Assembly should thus invite member states to develop comprehensive and clear

regulations that define and regulate conscientious objection with regard to health and medical services,

including reproductive health services, as well as to provide oversight and monitoring, including an effective

complaint mechanism, of the practice of conscientious objection.

The Assembly should also recommend that the Committee of Ministers instruct the competent Steering

Committees and/or other competent Council of Europe bodies to assist member states in the development of

such regulations and the setting up of such oversight and monitoring mechanisms.


On 18 september 2010, Swiss fundamentalist anti-abortion groups (all of them rather small) will hold a manifestation with an oecumenical mass (evangelical and catholic) on the streets of Zürich, “March for Life”, similar to the march which will be hold in Berlin, Germany, on the same date.

No church was willing to host them for the mass. That why they will celebrate it on a public square.

The sponsors are:

Arbeitsgruppe Jugend & Familie (youth and family, grouping traditional families with 3 or more children) Christen für die Wahrheit christians for truth EDU Schweiz evangelical political party (very small) Familienlobby Schweiz very conservative lobbying group Human Life International Ja zum Leben yes to life, this is the only group of any numerical importance. Pro Life an organisation organizing collective health insurance for its members (who have to declare that they will never have an abortion) Zeitschriften ‘ethos’ und ‘factum’ conservative christian journals Zukunft CH, fundamentalist political pressure group (no significance)

A Swiss parliamentarian of the right-wing “Swiss peoples party” (Schweizerische Volkspartei, ) will be the main speaker. This party, although being conservative and cherishing the traditional family model, is very much divided on the abortion question.

Up to now they have only received 872 signatures to their manifesto.

Bioethics Committee of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference

The Committee has a consultative status with the Bishops’ conference on questions of reproduction, genetic engeneering, stem cell research etc.

Among the 11 members there are at least 3 leading members of Human Life International (Swiss section). One of them is presiding the Committee.

Only 1 female member.

The impending trial of a young Queensland woman for allegedly illegally aborting her pregnancy has no precedent in Australia.

The finding by prominent obstetrician and abortion law reform campaigner Caroline de Costa reinforces how intensely the prosecution of Tegan Leach and her partner, Sergie Brennan, both of Cairns, will be watched.

The case is due to return to the District Court next month, with Ms Leach charged with attempting to procure an abortion under a 111-year-old provision of the Queensland criminal code, carrying a maximum of seven years’ jail. Mr Brennan is charged with supplying drugs to procure an abortion.

Both have been committed to stand trial.

“Over the past five years, I have been researching the history of abortion in Australia, particularly in Queensland, through medical, legal and police records,” Professor de Costa writes in a new book, Never, Ever, Again.

“My research has not produced a single previous case of a woman being charged with procuring her own abortion since the 1899 (criminal) code was first promulgated (in Queensland).

“What’s more, I have found no evidence that any woman anywhere in Australia has ever been so charged.” Ms Leach is alleged to have terminated her pregnancy in December 2008 with RU486, the abortion drug that could not be brought into the country legally until 2006.

Professor de Costa played an important role in having the ban overturned by federal parliament, and ran the first service using RU486 in Cairns. However, she was not aware of, nor involved in, the couple’s alleged use of an illegally imported batch of the drug.


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