The Offence of Child Destruction: Issues for Medical Abortion

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    All jurisdictions in Australia permit, within specified parameters, the
    performance of an abortion by a qualified medical practitioner. Yet most
    jurisdictions also maintain an offence of child destruction. This article argues
    that the offence of child destruction may protect the foetus from early in the
    second trimester of pregnancy, and thus overlaps with the otherwise lawful
    practice of medical abortion. This situation creates a site of conflict and
    confusion for the criminal law, and results in serious legal uncertainty as to
    what constitutes a lawful medical abortion. The article contends that the most
    appropriate and effective resolution of these issues is to abolish the offence of
    child destruction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-26
    Number of pages26
    JournalSydney Law Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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