When More is Less: Emergency Powers, COVID-19 and Abortion in South Australia, 2020

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Abstract

In March 2020, when emergency powers legislation was invoked in South Australia to manage COVID-19, the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition (saaac) had been campaigning to decriminalise abortion since 2015. The group quickly realised that COVID-19 restrictions would amplify pre-existing difficulties for abortion providers and their patients and focused its efforts on persuading members of the government and the Chief Public Health Officer to use emergency powers to suspend aspects of abortion law to enable better and safer access to abortion services, specifically medical abortion via telehealth. This article offers an account of saaac’s 2020 campaign and asks why the needs of abortion patients and their healthcare providers were sidelined at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown in SA in early 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • criminal law
  • emergency powers
  • medical abortion

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