Australian rights group the Human Rights Law Centre Monday called for Western Australia to “fully decriminalise abortion and reform outdated laws.” According to the Centre, abortion is “tethered to the criminal law, rather than being treated as a healthcare matter in law.”The report explains:The right of a person to control if and when they have children is fundamental to their health and life. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women has recommended the decriminalisation of abortion in all cases and noted that the abuse and mistreatment of women and girls seeking sexual and reproductive health information, goods and services is gender-based violence. It has also observed that laws that criminalise or restrict medical procedures needed by women discriminate against women and threaten their basic rights to life, health and bodily autonomyThe Centre made multiple recommendations to the Western Australian government such as using gender inclusive language, removing the requirement of medical panel for abortions from 20 weeks gestation and repealing abortion offences in Section 199 of the Criminal Code Act of 1913.
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