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Abortion decriminalized in Sydney after Australian lawmakers overturn 119-year-old law

Published: September 29, 2019
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Source: cnn.com

(CNN) Abortion has now been decriminalized in almost all of Australia after the country's most populous state voted to overturn a 119-year-old law.

On Thursday, lawmakers in New South Wales -- which is home to Sydney -- voted to pass a bill that decriminalizes abortion and makes terminations available to people who are less than 22 weeks pregnant.
 
Previously, "unlawful abortion" was listed in the Crimes Act and carried a possible penalty of 10 years in prison for a woman who administered her own abortion. To get a "lawful abortion," a doctor needed to agree that a woman's physical or mental health was in serious danger if she continued the pregnancy.
 
Under the new law, women will be able to get abortions up to 22 weeks into their pregnancy without having to prove that their mental or physical health will be impacted if they continue the pregnancy. After 22 weeks, they will need two specialist medical practitioners to sign off on the abortion.
 
New South Wales' move means that abortion is now decriminalized everywhere in Australia -- apart from the state of South Australia. South Australia's abortion laws are currently under review.

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