Australia: Sydneysiders protest in response to US 'abortion bans' - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaSydneysiders protest in response to US 'abortion bans'

12:30  09 june  2019
12:30  09 june  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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Sydneysiders protest in response to US 'abortion bans'© Supplied Jolie Kucinskas (left), who attended the rally with her friend Madeleine Ponferrada, says she was "in awe" at the turn out.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney on Sunday in response to the introduction of 'abortion bans' in several US states.

Seventeen-year-old high school student Bella Ziade organised the 'Our Bodies Our Choice' march via Facebook in solidarity with "our friends in the US" and to highlight that abortion in NSW is still "a crime" and "inaccessible to many".

"Everyone deserves to have autonomy over their own body and we are fighting for it together," she wrote on the event. "Laws restricting or banning abortion are not pro-life. They don’t respect pregnant people’s lives - they’re anti-choice."

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Coordinated protests in response to a raft of new state laws restricting abortion took place across the U . S . on Tuesday. Lawmakers in a few other states , like Louisiana, are still considering some of these early abortion bans . And supporters feel that President Trump has really delivered on his promises to

Sixteen-year-old high school student Amber Kelly attended the rally as she was "nervous" the US bans would have a ripple effect in Australia.

"Abortion in NSW is considered a criminal offence already, and if influence from the US or Trump restricts it further, it would be a huge step back for women’s rights in Australia," she said. "I believe a woman should have bodily autonomy and the church nor the state should decide for her."

Ms Kelly also spoke with pro-life protesters who were "debating with some people", but said the conversation was "very civil".

Classmate Tara Fabris also feared Australian adopting more restrictive laws in response to the changes.

Sydneysiders protest in response to US 'abortion bans'© Supplied Classmates Tara Fabris and Amber Kelly (left) attended the rally in fear that law changes in the US will make their way to Australia. "With the influence of other countries, especially America, far-right beliefs are making their way back into our lives and undoing the rights we worked so hard to achieve," she said. "There’s definitely a fear that people with anti-choice beliefs will get louder and influence those kinds of laws being put back into place."

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Restrictive abortion law changes in various US states made headlines in May, with Lousiana the latest state to introduce an 'abortion ban'.

Alabama was the first to introduce the controversial "fetal heartbeat bill" which prohibits the procedure after an embryonic or fetal heartbeat is detected.

This normally occurs six-weeks into a pregnancy, with the terms highly debated by reproductive rights groups. Alabama's ban applies even in cases of rape or incest, with doctors who perform the procedure at risk of a 99-year jail sentence.

Sydneysiders protest in response to US 'abortion bans'© Edwina Pickles Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney on Sunday in response to the introduction of 'abortion bans' in several US states. Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia and Ohio have introduced similar bills, with Missouri recently introducing an eight-week abortion ban. The bans are yet to take effect and are expected to be challenged.

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Abortion rights activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington. " We will not go back," protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina, chanted. "Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion , stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault

The fight to prevent Alabama from implementing a near-total ban on abortion is set to rage for months after the state senate made it a crime to perform the procedure at This lawsuit will join a slew of other legal actions filed in response to efforts in other states to drastically restrict abortion access in the US .

Abortion is still concerned a criminal offence in NSW, unless a doctor believes a woman's physical and/or mental health is at risk.

Student Jolie Kucinskas, 17, said that attending the rally was the "first time in years" she felt "100 per cent safe".

Sydneysiders protest in response to US 'abortion bans'© Supplied Pro-life supporters arrived at the end of the march and began to "debate" with protesters. "I spoke to children from seven-years-old and to women who were 80," she said.  "Some of my nights are sleepless worrying about what the world will be like when my daughters are bought into it. To think that those after us will also fear the true freedom and choice in regards to their reproductive rights is wrong and out of the question."

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