Australia Province’s Bill to Officially Decriminalize Abortion Postponed

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Province’s Bill to Officially Decriminalize Abortion Postponed Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 3,

Melbourne, Australia ( — A bill that would officially decriminalize abortion in the Australian province of Victoria has been postponed. The decision to wait to hold a hearing and a vote on the measure comes after the resignation of Steve Bracks as premier and changes resulting from it.

Abortion is legal throughout Australia but the Victoria province never officially took laws prohibiting abortions off their books.

Labor MP Candy Broad, who is the sponsor of the bill, said the Victoria Parliament was slated to discuss the bill this week but it has been postponed until August 21.

Broad told the Herald Sun newspaper that waiting to debate the bill would give more time for members to prepare for it following Bracks’ stepping down. Bracks has been replaced by John Brumby.

Brumby supports the official legalizing of abortion in Victoria but has said he doesn’t support Broad’s bill.

Broad seemed to think she would have enough support for the bill.

"I am encouraged by the number of people who have indicated they are in favor of decriminalization of abortion and by the number of people who want to have input," Broad said.

However, the newspaper indicated Broad is unlikely to get enough support in the Upper House to go to the Lower House for further consideration.

Figures show more than 84,000 women had abortions in Australia in 2003 but figures in Victoria are unknown because there are no legal requirements that abortions be reported to state officials.

Victoria is the second most populous Australian state, after New South Wales, with an estimated population of more than five million people. That puts it on par with the state of Minnesota.