The Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 ensures termination of pregnancy (abortion) is treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. The Act:
- establishes a health centered approach for abortion
- supports a woman's right to health, including reproductive health and autonomy
- provides clarity and safety for health practitioners providing abortions
For further information, please see the Summary of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019.
What happens if a doctor conscientiously objects to performing an abortion?
The legislation details the steps a registered health practitioner must take if they ‘conscientiously object’ to performing, assisting in or advising on an abortion because it conflicts with their own personal beliefs, values or moral concerns. If a health practitioner conscientiously objects, they must tell you in a timely fashion. They must also either provide you with information on how to locate or contact a medical practitioner [PDF] who does not conscientiously object or transfer your care to such a provider.
The requirement to provide information may be met by directing a woman to the Pregnancy Choices Helpline on 1800 008 463 or the Pregnancy Choices websitewhich provides information on abortion providers.
If you have concerns about your health practitioner, you can make a complaint to the NSW Health Care Complaints Comission