WGNRR Expresses Solidarity With Reproductive Rights Activists in Australia

On November 9th, a National Day of Action in Australia is being held to support the demand for safe, legal, accessible abortion, and specifically for the dropping of criminal charges against a woman and her partner  who stand accused of an  induced miscarriage (the Cairns abortion case). Information on the facts about this case can be read here .WGNRR has sent the following message of solidarity to be read by our allies in the occupied Aboriginal lands now known as Australia:

The Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, based in the Philippines with a membership of over 1000 autonomous individuals and organisations from around the world,  declares our firm support for the determined and principled stance you are taking to ensure that abortion is accessible and affordable, not a criminal act in  Queensland or elsewhere across Australia. These efforts matter not only for the accused Cairns couple, and not only for the legal decisions in the local courtroom--but for the years ahead, and for reproductive rights advocacy worldwide. The case against the Cairns couple is unjust and sets a shocking precedent in relation to the criminalisation of women’s rights to dignity, to autonomy and bodily integrity.

WGNRR urges the jury presiding over the Cairns abortion case to affirm principles of justice, recall the national and international commitments of Australia to uphold women’s human rights, and unconditionally drop all criminal charges related to the ‘induced miscarriage’. WGNRR urgently calls on the national, state and territorial governments of Australia-and around the world-to listen to the diverse voices of community members, human rights advocates, civil society organisations, educators and health care providers, who consistently support the repeal of all laws that criminalise or restrict women’s access to abortion. We assert that a proactive response is needed to ensure nationwide provision of this common medical procedure, and that it is accessible and affordable to all populations, including for  migrants, First Peoples, people who identify as lesbian, bi, trans, queer, inter-sex or two spirited, and other systematically excluded and marginalised communities.

The Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights is heartened by the coordinated actions you are taking throughout the country to champion the call for affordable, accessible, safe and legal abortion. We strongly believe that your actions today are significant for the future of women’s reproductive rights and dignity, and for the struggles for reproductive justice to be realised in every corner of the world.

As defenders of reproductive and sexual rights, justice and dignity in our own communities, WGNRR and our membership express our sincerest solidarity  to all of you on the front lines and behind the scenes of these efforts. We will be watching for updates on the Cairns case and abortion related legal reforms, and will be prepared to raise these concerns whenever we meet Australian officials abroad.