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Issue #1474      29 September 2010

Pro-choice supporters plan national protest

Pro-choice supporters are gearing up for a national day of protest on the Saturday before the Cairns abortion case goes to trial. The trial has been set down for October 12.

Rallies will be held across the country on October 9 (see ad for details) to demand the dropping of the charges brought under Queensland’s anti-abortion laws against a couple in Cairns.

“When a woman and her partner are facing trial under the abortion laws, it is time to take action,” said Pro-Choice Action Collective activist, Kathy Newnam.

“The Bligh government have tried to distract attention from the facts of the case by claiming that the charges are related to the way the abortion took place. This is a lie. The charges that the couple are facing have been brought under the anti-abortion laws.”

Ms Newnam said that for years, women in Queensland have been assured that the anti-abortion laws were a “dead letter” – that they would never be used. Now a young woman and her partner are facing trial under these laws and facing the prospect of years in prison.

“These charges should not have been brought in the first place because the laws should not exist. Abortion is a woman’s right to choose. It should not be a crime.”

This case threatens to set a dangerous new precedent on the abortion laws and supporters of abortion rights are determined to build a campaign that the Bligh government cannot ignore.

“We will not stand by silently while a young woman and her partner face trial under these rotten laws. Around the country, supporters of abortion rights will rally to demand the dropping of the charges.

“We will send the message loud and clear right across the country that we will not stand back while our rights are taken away. This case has already had a massive impact on the lives of one young couple — but if the charges are upheld, it has the potential to destroy many more lives as it emboldens the anti-abortion forces. Pro-choice supporters will not let that happen.

“On October 9, we will take to the streets to demand free, safe, accessible abortion on demand in such a show of force that the government will no longer be able to ignore our demands – drop the abortion charges, repeal the anti-abortion laws”. 

Next article – Banking regulation off the agenda – Way open for next crisis

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