Report No. 11, 56th Parliament - Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018

Committee's Report

The report was tabled on 5 October 2018.  The Bill was passed on 17 October 2018. 

View:Introductory Speech
View:Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018
View:Explanatory notes to the Bill


On 22 August 2018, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice introduced the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018.

In accordance with Standing Order 131 of the Standing Rules and Orders of the Legislative Assembly, the Bill was referred to the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee (the committee) for detailed consideration.    

About the Bill

The primary objective of the Bill, as outlined in the explanatory notes, is that the termination of pregnancy should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal matter. The Bill proposes to provide for:

  • the removal of the termination of pregnancy laws from the Queensland Criminal Code by repealing sections 224, 225 and 226
  • a woman who consents to, assists in, or performs a termination on herself does not commit an offence, and
  • the creation of a new offence, punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment, for unqualified persons who perform, or assist in performing, a termination.

In summary, the Bill proposes the following matters below (this is a summary only, and is not a substitute for reading the Bill and the Explanatory Notes):

  • a medical practitioner may perform a lawful termination:
    • ­on request during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy, and
    • ­after 22 weeks of pregnancy:
      • if the medical practitioner considers that the termination should be performed, and has consulted with another medical practitioner who also agrees that the termination should be performed (the matters which a medical practitioner must consider include all relevant medical circumstances, the woman's current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances, and the professional standards and guidelines that apply to the medical practitioner in relation to the performance of the termination), or
      • in an emergency circumstance (eg to save the woman's life or the life of another unborn child)
  • another medical practitioner, a nurse, midwife, pharmacist, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island health practitioner or other registered health practitioner prescribed by regulation may assist in a termination of pregnancy performed by a medical practitioner (it is unlawful if the assisting person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that the termination of pregnancy being performed by the medical practitioner does not comply with clauses 4 or 5 of the Bill)
  • a medical practitioner may conscientiously object to the performance of a termination of pregnancy:
    • ­a medical practitioner is required to disclose their conscientious objection and refer or transfer the woman to another health practitioner or health service provider, and
    • ­this provision does not limit any duty owed by a registered health practitioner to provide a termination of pregnancy service in an emergency circumstance
  • establishment of safe access zones:
    • ­a safe access zone applies to an area within 150 metres of the entrance of a termination of pregnancy service premises (unless that distance is varied under a regulation by the relevant Minister)
    • ­new criminal offences for prohibited conduct or restricted recording of a person in, entering or leaving termination services premises (including the publication and distribution of a restricted recording) within the safe access zone.

The Queensland Government has published information about abortion law reform which is available here


Submissions closed:5 September 2018. The committee has resolved not to accept images of foetuses or the outcomes of medical procedures. Please note the submissions were published under the ‘submissions’ tab.

Public departmental briefings:

24 August 2018 - Brisbane -Transcript


17 September 2018 -Brisbane  - Transcript

Public hearing dates:

10 September 2018 - Townsville -  Transcript


11 September 2018 Cairns - Transcript


12 September 2018 - Brisbane - Transcript

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