People are seen attending the March together for Choice rally in Brisbane ahead of proposed changes to Queensland's abortion laws in Brisbane, Sunday, October 14, 2018. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
People are seen attending the March together for Choice rally in Brisbane ahead of proposed changes to Queensland's abortion laws in Brisbane, Sunday, October 14, 2018. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING Glenn Hunt

Women's centre welcomes decriminalisation of abortion

A ROCKHAMPTON women's centre has welcomed the State Government's decision to remove abortion from the criminal code.

The Rockhampton Women's Health Centre is a not-for-profit health and well-being service run by women for women, men and children.

Following the ruling that abortion would no longer be a criminal act, staff from the centre applauded the decision saying it "gives women the right to choose”.

Centre manager Belinda Lindel (pictured) said this decision would hopefully remove the stigma women face when seeking abortions.

"This gives women a lot of choice and helps them not to feel ashamed and be kept in the dark about wanting to access a termination,” she said.

Manager of Rockhampton's Women's Health Centre Belina Lindel says the move to decriminalise abortion is the right move.
Manager of Rockhampton's Women's Health Centre Belina Lindel says the move to decriminalise abortion is the right move. Contributed

"To us it is the woman's choice, and there is no shame and judgement around the choices that they make.”

Despite what she says is the right decision, Ms Lindel thinks services that are currently available to women in regional areas are dangerously lacking.

"It's not sufficient because they have to pay more money to access these services and facilities that aren't in there in certain areas,” she said.

"Women in regional and rural areas are vastly financially affected.”

For Ms Lindel, the discussion online following the decision has been very disappointing, not only because of the judgment, but because of the inaccurate comments and posts made by people who don't understand the complexity of the issue.

"Less than one per cent of women choose to terminate a pregnancy, and they do it generally because of medical issues,” she said.

"They don't just get to 20 weeks and go 'I don't want this child any more', they undergo huge discussions with their GP and their partner.

"When abortions occur in the late stages of a pregnancy it is because of medical abnormalities, that is a fact.

"I understand that we are still going to get the conscientious objectors, which is their right. I don't think you should be forced to do something that you don't want to do, but everybody has a right and everybody has an opinion. It is a very sensitive subject.”



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