Myth: Abortion is against the law.
Women in Queensland can access an abortion legally, however abortion does remain in the Queensland Criminal Code (1899) Sections 224, 225 and 226. Provision is via a defense clause Section 282 and case laws (Bayliss & Cullen ,1986 and Leach & Brennan, 2010)
While these laws may be complex. It is generally accepted that termination of pregnancy in Queensland can be lawfully provided by a medical practitioner when he/she has formed an honest and reasonable belief that the woman’s physical and/or mental health is at risk of serious harm if the pregnancy continues.
For young women under 18, clinics are able to perform the procedure without consent from parents using 'Gillick Competence'. This is where the young woman can show sufficient maturity and understanding to consent themselves.
Abortion providers normally do require a young women under the age of 16 years to have parental consent, or be accompanied by their parent or guardian.
Myth: I will feel terrible after an abortion and regret my decision
Not necessarily. The most reported emotion after an abortion is one of relief. The majority of women cope well after a termination. If you have come to the decision for yourself, like any other decision you make for you, it will sit better than if you’re forced into it.Those who experience negative reactions after an abortion are more likely to be those women who have felt they needed to keep the abortion a secret, those who felt they acted against their own values or beliefs by having an abortion, or those who had pre-existing illnesses.
Myth: Abortion causes breast cancer.
This is not true. Lots of organisations around the world have rejected any link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer. This rejection is based on reliable scientific investigation, documented in reputable medical publications, and has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
Myth: I can’t get an abortion now - I’m 13 weeks along.
In QLD, you can but it will cost more the further along in the pregnancy you are. The costs of terminations in QLD change so frequently, for updated costs call Children by Choice on (07) 3357 5177 or 18000 177 725 (outside Brisbane) or contact the clinics directly. Costs and caps on gestation vary from clinic to clinic and get more expensive the later it is. A healthcare card and Medicare card can make it cheaper. Costs vary from $410 - $4000. Most clinics can perform at termination up to 16 weeks.
Myth: Do I have to tell my parents/guardian about the abortion?
No. If you do not want them to know you do not have to tell them. However, many women find it helpful to get their support. For advice and tips on telling them check out "Telling someone you're pregnant". If you are under 16, you may need your parents consent, however this is up to the doctor if he will waiver this.
Myth: Do I need my parents’/guardians’ permission to have an abortion?
No, a legal precedent (a rule established by a court) set by the Fraser Competence Ruling means that young women under the age of 16 years may legally seek medical treatment (including termination and contraception) without parental/guardian consent, if you are able to show sufficient maturity and understanding in relation to the procedure. This means that if the doctor believes you understand what the medical treatment involves and you understand the consequences, then they will perform the treatment.
However, in Queensland, abortion providers prefer that young women under the age of 16 years have parental consent or are accompanied by their parent or guardian when accessing a termination. If you are under 14 years of age additional requirements are in place. Please contact Children by Choice 07 3357 5177 or 18000 177 725 (outside Brisbane) for more information.
Myth: Everything you read on the internet must be true.
No. When it comes to unplanned pregnancy and abortion information on the internet, there is alot of misleading information. This is because these topics are often value-laden. Meaning they bring up strong feelings in people, often based on their religious beliefs or family values.
Anti-choice websites are often misleading and are clever in disguising their messages that abortions are immoral. When a website refers to ‘the baby’ – this is trying the create an emotional attachment by encouraging you to visualize a small child.
They may also use:
- Extreme case scenarios eg : “symptoms of post abortion stress are hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, increased alcohol and drug use, and difficulty maintaining close relationships” – these are scare tactics. Many women report that they coped well after an abortion. You may feel a variety of feelings, both positive and negative, but extreme feelings like those mentioned are there to scare you, not help your decision making.
- Success stories only from women who parent.
- Use of images of unborn fetuses.
Remember an abortion is lawful in QLD and is a legitimate option when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Only you will know if it fits for you and you do not deserve propaganda and misinformation at a time of such decision.
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