Contraception can't stop all unplanned pregnancies: Lauga
"IT is unrealistic to expect that all sexually active women will never experience an unplanned pregnancy."
This was one of the comments Keppel MP Brittany Lauga made in relation to proposed changes to Queensland's abortion laws tabled in parliament today.
Independent MP Rob Pyne put forward the bill to decriminalise abortion in Queensland, which would bring the state in line with other Australian states' laws.
Victoria changed its laws in 2008 to allow abortions to be legal up until 24 weeks, and medically legal until full term under strict guidelines.
Abortion is the only medical procedure to feature in the Queensland Criminal Code and has been since 1899.
"It's 2016, not 1899, so I think we need to change these old laws in Queensland," Ms Lauga told The Bulletin.
A number of readers hit out at the proposal to change abortion laws in Queensland on The Bulletin's Facebook post this morning, with a number of them incorrectly stating women have up until week 20 to abort now in Queensland, and others saying they should carry the child to full term and put it up for adoption (laws make it difficult - OPINION: Debate around abortion not covering all issues).
She said while prevention of all unplanned pregnancies was desirable, it was an unrealistic expectation that it would happen.
"No contraception is 100% effective and contraception can fail even when used correctly and consistently.
"The World Health Organisation estimates that even if all contraceptive users used contraception perfectly in every sexual encounter, there would still be six million unintended pregnancies every year.
"Studies of Australian and New Zealand women seeking abortion have shown that over half of women presenting for abortion had been using contraception prior to becoming pregnant.
"The reality is that we are all human beings and make mistakes or errors of judgment. No contraception is 100% effective and contraception can fail when not used accurately, when used with other prescribed medications, or if not used consistently.
"However I do support measures to empower women to make educated and informed choices with respect of contraception and sexual health.
"The reality is that we are all human beings and make mistakes or errors of judgement.
"I support a woman's right to have control over her own body so I support reform to decriminalise abortion in Queensland.
She said now that the Bill had been introduced, it w ould be referred to the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee for review.
"The community will have the opportunity to participate in the review of the Bill and I am interested to see more detail as the committee progresses," Ms Lauga said.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the LNP's policy is that there should be no change to the current laws in place. "Should the Bill currently before the Queensland Parliament be brought to a vote, there would be a conscience vote for LNP Members," he said.