Law academics urge NSW government to take abortion off criminal code | Law

Law academics urge NSW government to take abortion off criminal code

Professor Luke McNamara speaks to The Guardian (11 August 2016) regarding the forthcoming bill to decriminalise abortion.

Professor McNamara led more than 100 academics in the organising, writing and signing of a letter calling to decriminalise abortion, and to introduce privacy zones around abortion service providers and clinics.

Professor McNamara believes criminal law needs to reflect community expectations. “In this context social values have changed, this is widely recognised, maybe not universally recognised, it’s appropriate for a woman to have the right to choose an abortion, and criminal law should not be inconsistent with that basic principle,” he said. 

He also commented on the significance of ceasing to define abortion as a criminal offence: “The symbolic effect [of taking abortion out of the criminal code] should not be underestimated. It is too easy to say as a matter of practice, ‘what does it matter?’. Well, it does matter, an inconsistent message is being conveyed to women, their friends, the broader community. We need to make sure it is not sending a contrary message with the criminal code.”

Read the full article here.