Teenagers under the age of 16 in Western Australia would be allowed to seek an abortion without the permission of a parent or guardian under a major bill set to be introduced this week. Source: Perthnow.com.au.
Currently, Western Australia is the only state or territory where a child under the age of 16 must inform a parent or guardian about their intent to seek an abortion.
If the child does not want to inform a parent, they must make an application to the Children’s Court in order to access the operation.
WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the proposed amendments acknowledge that there are a “range of circumstances” where parental notification could pose a “safety risk to the child or is inappropriate or impractical”.
However, a parent or guardian may still be required to be informed of the procedure if the medical practitioner has concerns over the “child’s competence to make a decision regarding abortion”.
The proposed legislation will also remove abortion from the criminal code, bringing Western Australian law in-line with other Australian states and territories.
In June, the government introduced an overhaul of its abortion laws, which would make it easier to access the procedure.
While women currently need to consult two health practitioners in order to access an abortion, the proposed laws would reduce this figure to one.
The gestational limit for accessing a standard abortion would also be increased from 20 weeks to 23 weeks.
New WA abortion bill to allow under 16s abortions without parental consent (By Jessica Wang, Perthnow.com.au)
WA Liberal leader Libby Mettam confirms she will support Government’s abortion reforms (The West Australian)