While each individual experience of abortion is unique, all women seeking an abortion in South Australia (SA) will encounter a law that constrains the possibilities for medical practitioners and health services to provide them with best care.
These legal constraints mean that women living in rural and remote areas often need to travel to Adelaide to access abortion care, a costly and unnecessary experience rarely encountered by women living in metropolitan areas.
While abortion remains in the criminal law, unnecessary limitations are placed on the circumstances in which abortion is deemed lawful. As a result, abortion is the only medical procedure requiring examination and certification by two medical practitioners for the procedure to be recognised as legal. This requirement – created nearly fifty years ago – is completely out of step with consent processes for all other health procedures in SA and demeans women’s decision making authority. It is also an unnecessary use of doctors’ time and expertise.