(1) A reference in
this section to performing an abortion includes a reference to —
attempting to perform an abortion; and
doing any act with intent to procure an abortion,
whether or not the
woman concerned is pregnant.
(2) No person,
hospital, health institution, other institution or service is under a duty,
whether by contract or by statutory or other legal requirement, to participate
in the performance of any abortion.
(3) Subject to
subsections (4) and (7), the performance of an abortion is justified for the
purposes of section 199(1) of The Criminal Code if, and only if —
woman concerned has given informed consent; or
woman concerned will suffer serious personal, family or social consequences if
the abortion is not performed; or
serious danger to the physical or mental health of the woman concerned will
result if the abortion is not performed; or
pregnancy of the woman concerned is causing serious danger to her physical or
(4) Subsection (3)(b),
(c) or (d) do not apply unless the woman has given informed consent or in the
case of paragraphs (c) or (d) it is impracticable for her to do so.
(5) In this section
informed consent means consent freely given by the
woman where —
medical practitioner has properly, appropriately and adequately provided her
with counselling about the medical risk of termination of pregnancy and of
carrying a pregnancy to term; and
medical practitioner has offered her the opportunity of referral to
appropriate and adequate counselling about matters relating to termination of
pregnancy and carrying a pregnancy to term; and
medical practitioner has informed her that appropriate and adequate
counselling will be available to her should she wish it upon termination of
pregnancy or after carrying the pregnancy to term.
(6) A reference in
subsection (5) to a medical practitioner does not include a reference to
medical practitioner who performs the abortion; nor
medical practitioner who assists in the performance of the abortion.
(7) If at least 20
weeks of the woman’s pregnancy have been completed when the abortion is
performed, the performance of the abortion is not justified unless —
medical practitioners who are members of a panel of at least 6 medical
practitioners appointed by the Minister for the purposes of this section have
agreed that the mother, or the unborn child, has a severe medical condition
that, in the clinical judgment of those 2 medical practitioners, justifies the
abortion is performed in a facility approved by the Minister for the purposes
of this section.
(8) For the purposes
of this section —
subject to subsection (11), a woman who is a dependant minor shall not be
regarded as having given informed consent unless a custodial parent of the
woman has been informed that the performance of an abortion is being
considered and has been given the opportunity to participate in a counselling
process and in consultations between the woman and her medical practitioner as
to whether the abortion is to be performed; and
woman is a dependant minor if she has not reached the age of 16 years and is
being supported by a custodial parent or parents; and
reference to a parent includes a reference to a legal guardian.
(9) A woman who is a
dependant minor may apply to the Children’s Court for an order that a
person specified in the application, being a custodial parent of the woman,
should not be given the information and opportunity referred to in subsection
(8)(a) and the court may, on being satisfied that the application should be
granted, make an order in those terms.
(10) An order made
under subsection (9) has effect according to its terms and is not liable to be
challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or called in question in or by
(11) If the effect of
an order under subsection (9) is that no custodial parent of the woman can be
given the information and opportunity referred to in subsection (8)(a),
subsection (8) does not apply in relation to the woman.
[Section 334 inserted: No. 15 of 1998 s. 7(1).]