This is a letter YWCA sent to South Australian Lower House MPs just before the introduction of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill.
We are encouraging any YWCA members in South Australia to get in contact with your local member to support the Termination of Pregnancy Bill with no amendments. You can find your local lower house member here.
Dear member of House of Assembly [include name],
Re: Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020
YWCA Australia has proudly existed to support women for over 140 years in Australia and we write to express our concern about the harm being caused by keeping abortion in the criminal law, and confirm our strong support for the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2020 with no amendments. You and other members of the hold the power to fundamentally change history when voting on this bill.
Patients know what makes sense for their health, their body and their future and should be able to feel safe and in control of their healthcare, and be free to decide whether or when to have a child. However, South Australia’s current abortion laws are not fit for purpose. We see delays and unnecessarily complicated patient care and worryingly an escalation of patient distress. It will not be surprising to you that through our work we find that the laws have a disproportionate harmful impact on members in our communities who already face significant barriers to healthcare.
Ending a pregnancy shouldn’t involve having to travel hundreds of kilometres, or cross state borders, made even more difficult during a pandemic, just to access healthcare needed and that they could get at home.
We are very proud and celebrate our world-leading healthcare professionals in South Australia, particularly their sustained and incredible responses as we all live through the unpredictability of COVID-19. We also know they can provide their patients with the best care possible, but to do so we need your support to pass this bill without amendments, so they can do support patients’ needs without fear of criminal charges.
We call on you to support decriminalising abortion in South Australia and to pass the bill with no amendments, ensuring the autonomy, dignity and wellbeing of patients who need to end a pregnancy – by enabling safe, legal and compassionate access to abortion care.
Thank you for your time and consideration and that when the time comes to vote on the bill you make history and change so many lives in South Australia far into the future.