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Dear Member of Parliament I am writing to you on behalf of Family Planning NSW, the states leading provider of reproductive and

sexual health services, to express our concern about the Crimes Amendment (Zoes Law) Bill 2013 (No. 2) to be voted on by the NSW Parliament. We provide healthcare services, information and advice to some of the states most marginalised communities, and with 97% of our clients women, we are concerned about the implications that this Bill will have on womens lives if it becomes law. We acknowledge the pain and grief that losing a foetus can bring. We also acknowledge that many women have to make difcult decisions relating to their pregnancy for medical and health reasons. We urge you to vote against the Bill as the current law has been reviewed by Michael Campbell QC in 2010 and found to be appropriate. That is, if a pregnant woman is the victim of a crime in NSW which causes harm to or the destruction of her foetus the law recognises grievous bodily harm to the woman regardless of the length of gestation or size of the foetus. The law, in its current form, already carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. A change to the law is unnecessary. Even though the Bill acknowledges exemptions for anything done in the course of a medical procedure or anything done by, or with consent of, the pregnant woman concerned we are concerned that the Bill will have repercussions on womens reproductive rights and wellbeing in NSW. The NSW Bar Association, Womens Legal Services NSW and NSW Community Legal Centres NSW share our concerns. The Bill will make it difcult for doctors to do their job and may lead to criminal charges in some instances. Although the Bill says a foetus is a living person for some offences, there is no way to prevent this limited denition from being used to argue that a foetus should be treated as a person in other contexts. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) have also expressed their concern about this issue. Restrictions could be placed on the behaviour of pregnant women, their access to abortion care and change the way pregnancy is perceived and experienced. Pregnant women could face criminal charges for their actions while pregnant, putting them at increased risk of control and abuse from a violent partner or family member. It is your responsibility to vote against the Bill. If you would like to discuss this further, please dont hesitate to contact me. Yours faithfully,

Ann Brassil CEO Family Planning NSW

Family Planning NSW Asheld | 328-336 Liverpool Rd, Asheld 2131 | t 02 8752 4300 | ABN 75 000 026 335 www.fpnsw.org.au | talkline 1300 658 886 | bookshop
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