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Human Rights Law Centre

Reproductive Rights

Reproductive Rights


The Human Rights Law Centre’s Reproductive Rights project works toward a visio...



Impact AreaTackling Inequality

Year First Supported 2018


The Human Rights Law Centre’s Reproductive Rights project works toward a vision of Australian laws and policies promoting reproductive freedom and ensuring every person has the power to decide what’s right for their body.


At the time the Impact Fund provided support, abortion had just been decriminalised in Queensland. It was still criminalised in NSW and SA. Laws in the NT and WA provided limited access to abortion and, although abortion was legal in Tasmania and Victoria, safe access zone laws in Tasmania and Victoria were being challenged in the High Court. The anti-abortion lobby was strong and active, and progressive changes in legislation were uncertain.


The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) had been undertaking a legal and advocacy campaign to ensure safe and legal access to abortion for women in Australia (including campaign activity in support of the Queensland amendments) and needed support to continue that work. Working as part of a coalition of legal, health and women’s organisations, the HRLC lobbied State Governments to change the law and assisted parliamentary representatives to support the tabling and passage of appropriate legislation. The coalition used the High Court challenge to Victoria’s safe access laws to highlight the need to protect women’s rights to access safe abortion and push for the preservation and extension of those laws.

HRLC’s work supported by the Impact Fund has played a key role in decriminalising abortion in NSW and protecting safe access to abortion in Victoria and Tasmania. The HRLC subsequently campaigned to see a similar safe access zone Bill introduced in South Australia. These efforts laid the groundwork that resulted in WA recently passing safe access laws like Victoria’s. As a result of the campaign and aligned efforts, women now have safe access to abortion in every state and territory of Australia.

Profile of Human Rights Law Centre

Human Rights Law Centre

The Human Rights Law Centre uses strategic legal action, policy solutions and advocacy to support people and communities to eliminate inequality and injustice and build a fairer, more compassionate Australia.

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