The Greens will always champion gender equality, stand up to the patriarchy, and fight for a society where one's gender doesn’t determine the rights and privileges they receive.
Safe, accessible, affordable access to medical abortion
All women deserve the right to choose and to control their own reproductive rights. No matter where a women lives, she deserves the right to control her own life, including in the ACT.
Medical abortion provides a safe, accessible and private means of terminating an early pregnancy with medication.
Despite the ACT being among the first jurisdictions to decriminalise abortion, medical abortion was illegal in the ACT until 2018.
In 2018, our Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur introduced legislation to improve Canberra women's access to medical abortion - that was passed in the Assembly.
Medical abortions are prescribed in other states and territories by licenced medical professionals, including GPs and nurses. Women can have a professional consultation by phone without a need to visit a clinic. Medical abortions involve the use of mifepristone and misoprostol, commonly known as RU486. These drugs, prescribed by a by licenced medical professional, can be taken at home as with other prescription drugs.
The Greens' Bill also:
- Ensures that a doctor or nurse must not refuse to carry out, or to assist in carrying out, an abortion in an emergency where a woman’s health is in danger;
- Ensures that a doctor or nurse must inform patients if they are exercising their right to conscientiously object;
- Clarifies the Health Act to ensure those who undertake a medical abortion are not inadvertently criminalised;
- Provides for gender neutral language, recognising that persons who do not identify as women may be capable of being pregnant, and seeking an abortion.
This reform has been well overdue. These drugs have been available on the PBS for many years.
Now, from 1 July 2019, Canberra women will be able to better access these drugs in a timely way.
Watch the video above to find out more about how the Greens' legislation has improved Canberra women's access to medical abortion.
Privacy zones around medical facilities that provide abortion and reproductive services
An ACT Greens Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly in 2015 that creates privacy zones around medical facilities that provide abortion and reproductive services.
Canberra women are now able to access what is a safe and legal medical procedure without being confronted, harassed or intimidated.
While the Greens respect individuals’ rights to hold strong views on any matter, we simply cannot support any behaviour that intimidates or causes fear or distress towards a woman who may already be in a difficult time. Find out more about this here.
Yes Means Yes. No Means No. If It's Not A Yes, It's a No.
The Greens believe it's important that we all understand what consent means.
Under ACT criminal law, consent is defined by when it is taken away, rather than when it is given.
This needs to change. A clear, unequivocal and freely given "yes" should be communicated between partners before sexual activity begins. Consent should not only be implied or inferred.
With the legislation I tabled in April 2018, we are now a step closer to changing the definition of consent in the ACT. These potential changes to the law are intended to help our community feel safer by painting a well-defined picture about what sexual assault is and is not, and what consent is and is not.
Learn more by reading my Canberra Times op-ed here.
In 2019, we'll be working to a positive definition of consent in the ACT.
In 2019, the Greens will present this Bill to the Legislative Assembly, as we work to strengthen the rights of all Canberrans.
Sign up here to receive updates as the Greens work to realise a positive definition of consent in the Legislative Assembly.
Tackling Intimate Image Abuse
Recent research shows that one in five Australians are victims of image-based sexual abuse - whether that’s upskirting, downblousing, so-called “revenge porn”, “sextortion” or threats of abuse.
One in ten Australians have had a sexual or intimate of them posted online or distributed without their consent. Additional research suggests four in five Australians want this to be a crime.
For too long, the ACT has been out of step with community expectations, and with other states and territories, when it comes to protecting the rights of victims of this despicable crime.
Addressing intimate image abuse has been a priority for the Greens. We took this issue to the last election, tabled a petition in March 2017, and put forward draft legislation to ensure that all Canberrans could have a say on this important reform.
Following intense negotiation, bargaining and consultation by the Greens, in August 2017 the ACT Legislative Assembly passed an amended Crimes (Intimate Image Abuse) Amendment Bill 2017. As a result, it is now a criminal offence to distribute, or threaten to capture or distribute, intimate images without a person’s consent.
Sign up here to receive updates as the Greens work to tackle intimate images abuse in the ACT.