The Government of South Australia has passed the Termination of Pregnancy Act, 2021 on 11th March, 2021. The Act has been passed to reform the law on termination of pregnancies in South Australia. The Salient features of the Act are as follows:
- The Act allows the lawful termination of pregnancy, where gestation period is less than 22 weeks and 6 days, either by a registered medical practitioner by performing termination on the individual or if any other health professional by prescribing drugs.
- Where the gestation period is more than 22 weeks and 6 days, the termination can only be allowed in the following cases: (i) if the medical practitioner believes the termination is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or save another fetus; or (ii) the continuance of the pregnancy would involve significant risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant person; or (iii) there is a case, or significant risk, of serious fetal anomalies associated with the pregnancy.
- If the termination results in a person being born, then it shall be the duty of the medical practitioner to provide utmost care and treatment that is clinically safe and appropriate to the person’s medical condition.
- Before performing a termination on a person, a registered health practitioner must provide all necessary information to the person about access to counselling, including publicly-funded counselling. Also, the practitioner must not terminate pregnancy for sex selection.
- Termination of pregnancy by unqualified person would be an offence under the Act.
- The personal information of the pregnant person shall not be disclosed to anyone except for a particular lawful purpose as mentioned under the Act.
- An Annual Report to be sent to the Minister with information in relation to each termination performed in the calendar year which must include the age of the pregnant person and the gestational age of the foetus at the time of the termination; and (b) other information (including data and statistics) of a kind prescribed by regulation or determined by the Minister.
*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.
Source: Termination of Pregnancy Act 2021 (legislation.sa.gov.au) https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/V/A/2021/TERMINATION%20OF%20PREGNANCY%20ACT%202021_7/2021.7.UN.PDF