Advancing reproductive rights across Australia

Human Rights Law Centre

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Varied Ages
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

Over the past 10 years, we have worked with community, health and political leaders across Australia to make sure that every person, no matter where they live or how much they earn, can access the abortion care they need. Through strategic litigation, powerful political advocacy, and collaborative campaigning with incredible partners, we have contributed to major law reforms to decriminalise abortion, remove outdated legal barriers and establish safe access zones around abortion services, including in NSW, Qld, Vic, SA and NT.

Every state and territory now has safe access zone laws in place. Every state and territory except WA has decriminalised abortion.

WA’s outdated law imposes unnecessary barriers to timely healthcare. It forces women in distressing situations to fly interstate at considerable financial and emotional cost, to access the healthcare they need, while other women are bumped from door to door, confronting doctors who object to abortion, causing delays and the need for more complex procedures.

Right now, there is a unique political window – the WA Government is seeking input into new abortion laws and there are good numbers of pro-choice representatives in WA Parliament.

With your funding, we will deploy our proven political and public advocacy tactics, working in deeply collaborative ways with health and community experts in WA, to influence the drafting of new abortion laws and to work with politicians to ensure their safe passage through parliament.

Expected Outcomes

Our goal is to ensure that abortion is treated as healthcare in law and wiped from the criminal laws of every state and territory around Australia.

Abortion is healthcare and it is a human right. The removal of legal barriers to abortion is necessary to ending the harmful stigma attached to abortion and to promoting more equitable access to abortion care for all, particularly for women and girls in regional and remote areas and those on low incomes.

In WA, this means taking advantage of the significant number of pro-choice representatives in both houses of parliament to ensure that new human rights-compliant laws pass before the next state election in March 2025.

We have considerable experience to harness from successful abortion decriminalisation campaigns in other states and territories. We will bring that experience to work with local partners to influence the drafting of WA’s new abortion laws and to support their safe passage through parliament, including by advising politicians on dangerous anti-choice amendment attempts.

We will know that we have achieved our goal if:

  • New abortion laws are passed by parliament that are consistent with Australia’s human rights obligations and are centred on achieving good health outcomes for patients.
  • Anti-choice amendments have been defeated.
  • Collaboration with key health and community sector partners in WA has been mutually supportive and strategic.

Project Data & Lessons

The Human Rights Law Centre has worked on a number of abortion law reform campaigns across different states and territories of Australia. We intend to undertake a reflective process at the end of the WA campaign with interested partners around Australia about the successes and learnings of abortion law reforms over the past decade.

Given the significant and positive law reforms across Australia and the constant threats to reproductive rights at the state, territory and federal level, and as seen so dramatically in the US in recent years, this reflective process is critical to safeguarding and improving on hard-fought gains. If the erosion of reproductive rights in the US over the past couple of decades has taught us anything, it is the need for constant reflection, collaboration and vigilance.

Project Dates

Project Commences: April 1, 2023
Project Completes: December 31, 2024

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Harris Morrison Fund
Other Support Opportunities
Not Interested

Organisation Details

Human Rights Law Centre
ABN: 31 117 719 267


About 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. The organisation’s key focus areas are:
– Strengthening the legal and institutional protection of human rights
– Promoting the human rights of people seeking asylum and refugees
– Protecting democratic freedoms
– Partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to promote their rights
– Ensuring prisons, youth justice centres and police cells comply with human rights
– Protecting women’s reproductive health rights
– Ensuring Australian companies comply with human rights standards overseas
– Promoting human rights through Australian foreign policy and UN engagement

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