Quickhit: a test case for decriminalisation of abortion in QLD

Tegan Simone Leach charged with aborting fetus herself

Tegan Simone Leach, 19, is believed to be the first woman charged in Queensland in nearly 50 years for organising her own miscarriage and is facing up to 14 years in jail.

Medical practitioners in Queensland who apply for a special license can legally prescribe the exact same drug that Ms Leach used to abort her pregnancy, but the old laws against abortion have not been reformed to take note of the reality that people can obtain the same drug for themselves.

Pro-choice lobbyists rally outside Brisbanes Parliament House. Photo: Marissa CalligerosCredit: Brisbane Times

Pro-choice lobbyists rally outside Brisbane's Parliament House. Photo: Marissa Calligeros

Note how the subeditors at the Brisbane Times just couldn’t resist a headline with a knob gag in it when reporting on calls for the Queensland Attorney General to intervene and drop the charges. Mr Dick decided to decline any intervention.

Categories: law & order

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7 replies

  1. Oh, poor Ms. Leach. 😦
    This will be an interesting test of how anti-choicers really feel about the formerly-pregnant woman being charged and facing jail-time, since there’s no doctor to be charged. It’ll also be interesting to see how they feel about a case in which they can’t bring up “horrific” images of blood and vacuums, etc (of course, fairly standard stuff for many types of surgery).
    I just wish that this (or any) woman was not caught up in whatever happens — I wish that her abortion could have remained a private matter, as it should be.

  2. While I think this is an absolute disgrace and I feel terrible for Ms Leach and her friends and family, I really hope that this will be the final push to overturn these ridiculous and antiquated laws.

  3. This law seems to support the idea that all of our biological processes need to be medicalized. Ever since the male doctors decided that reproduction was their territory and vilified midwives women have lost the sacred knowledge to prevent pregnancy and abort unwanted children. By keeping this knowledge strictly under their purview it has made it that much easier to control women. I hope that this woman will escape any form of punishment. It matters not how she obtained the abortion in this instance.
    Renee’s last blog post..Adam Lambert: If I Can’t Have You

  4. Sadly the QLD ALP lost one of its most forthright abortion campaigners in the last election when Bonny Barry lost her marginal seat. This will be quite a fascinating case for abortion law reform in that state, but must be an awful experience for the young woman and her partner to have a personal aspect of their lives become so public.

  5. I would *think* (hope?) that given the recent law changes in WA and Victoria in particular (and the cross-parliamentry support those changes got) that this could spur proper reform in Qld?

  6. I was wondering how on earth the police found out about it and charged Ms Leach? And also how she feels about being a cause celebre, because her voice seems noticably absent from the discussion.


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