Sleeping Dragon: The Unfinished Business
7 March 2011
Dr Leslie Cannold
Adjunct Fellow, School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry, University of Melbourne
Dr Cannold is an author, commentator, ethicist and activist. She is an adjunct Fellow at the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry at the University of Melbourne and senior lecturer at the Monash Institute of Health Services Research. She is President of Reproductive Choice Australia, a national coalition of pro-choice organisations that played a key role in removing the effective ban on the abortion drug RU486. Dr Cannold is also President of Pro Choice Victoria which was instrumental in the decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria in 2008. Her books include The Abortion Myth and What, No Baby? She has a chapter on abortion in The Australian Book of Atheism (Scribe 2010) and her first novel, The Book of Rachael, will be published by Text in April 2011.
Listen to the lecture through ABC Big Ideas
Sleeping Dragon: The Unfinished Business of Abortion Law Reform in Australia
I have been engaged with the abortion issue since my teens. An early memory is my mother asking if I’d like to join her stuffing envelopes for a local Senate candidate who was pro-choice.
This was 1979 and the intentions of former actor named Ronal Reagan were already written on the wall, though few would have predicted how successful the anti-choice movement would become.
If you’d asked me why I cared about the abortion issue, I almost certainly would have shrugged my fourteen-year-old shoulders and in an irritated fashion said, “I don’t knoooooww.”
Throughout my twenties and early thirties, my involvement with the abortion issue was mainly as an academic. I did a Masters thesis that ended up as tmy first book The Abortion Myth. I wrote a number of papers for peer reviewed journals on abortion-related issues like “what women really think about abortion and why philosophers don’t care” (that wasn’t really the title but you get the gist) and “how opponents of safe legal abortion misunderstand the difference between conscientious action and civil disobedience and why it’s important they get it.” (again, not really the title) More recently, I’ve authored a chapter on abortion and religion that appears in new collection called The Australian Book of Atheism.
The turning point that brought me back to activism was a chapter I was invited to author for a book called Advocating for Abortion Access. To write it, I had to examine two abortion rights campaigns in Australia – one successful, one unsuccessful – and attempt to glean some general principles about what works when Australian women and men band together to try and reform the law or improve women’s access to safe and timely services.
Of course, having studied in detail the ups and downs of these campaigns and recorded the struggles of the legislators and activists who dared to seek change, I came to believe what any read-up pointy-headed, ivory-tower denizen would. That I could have done things far better. So around 2004 I began to put my money where my mouth was. I helped found the national pro choice advocacy group Reproductive Choice Australia. I also joined the ultimately successful struggle of pro-choice legislators from the Liberal, National, Labor and Democrats party to repeal the amendment to the Therapeutics Goods Act that was effectively banning Australian women’s access to RU486, the so-called abortion drug. In 2007 I was part of successful efforts in Victoria to repeal abortion from the Crimes Act. Since then I have acted as an advisor to those who – so far unsuccessfully – have been trying to repeal the near identical provisions that governed Victorians from the criminal law in NSW and Queensland.
All that I intend to speak about over the next 35 to 40 minutes comes from the knowledge and experience I have gained from both these academic and activist pursuits.
So why does the abortion issue captivate me. In The Abortion Myth, I say it is my awareness:
…that without full reproductive rights – and that includes abortion – women’s crusade for freedom and equality is beaten before it’s begun. As Susan Faludi put in her 1991 book Backlash; ‘All of women’s aspirations – whether for education, work or any form of self-determination – ultimately rest on their ability to decide whether and when to bear children’
This is very true. But there is another reason. Insight into the unwieldy dimensions of this reason came from a conversation I had with another abortion rights activist back in 2005. We were in Canberra, dragging our bags from the crappy hotel to a bus stop, I believe, though don’t quote me on this. The preceding days had been spent walking the halls of parliament trying to get MPs from all sides of the chamber to talk to us about the upcoming conscience vote on RU486.
The bags were heavy, the hotel room we’d just vacated disgusting and getting in to see MPs whose position on the issues we were desperate to discover and inform had been as challenging as birthing elephant twins. “Why do we do it?” I had whinged.
“We don’t choose to do it,” my mate answered, breathing hard as her as she dragged her case along. “When they do something,” she said, referring to our anti-choice opponents, we just can’t….we can’t…NOT do something.”
The Abortion Activist
Right. So what is it that an abortion rights activist can’t stop feeling and doing – and looking out in the audience I can see a few out there, and hopefully a passel of activists to be – when the anti-choice challenge the right of Australian women to reproductive choice, or their access to safe, timely and accessible services?
An abortion rights activist can’t stop doing the MATH. S/he understands that the average Australian woman will cycle around 896 times during her fertile years. That’s 896 chances to fall pregnant over a 32-year period. Astoundingly two out of three Australian women manage to navigate these precarious waters without once becoming pregnant when they did not wish to be and so requiring an abortion.
On behalf of the one third who aren’t so lucky, an abortion rights activist can’t help feeling GALLED. Galled at a society that knows full well that it takes both a woman and a man to make a pregnancy but when a problem pregnancy arises, sheets home all responsibility for it, and for dealing with it, to the woman. She is GALLED too that the unlucky third will be condemned as irresponsible and for using abortion as contraception by those who know nothing about the circumstances of the pregnancy or the woman’s reasons for choosing termination.
An abortion rights activist can’t help being compelled by LOGIC. Anti-choicers say those who seek abortions are selfish career woman who want to look good in bikinis (this really was said by an MP during the 1998 parliamentary debate on law reform in WA). They say women who choose abortion are murderers. If this is true, why do they support policy that denies such irresponsible and homicidal women access to safe abortion and instead compels them to assume responsibility for an infant?
An abortion rights activist finds herself perpetually PERPLEXED. How can anti-choice politicians like Guy Barnett and anti-choice activists like Melinda Tankard-Reist know, without having spoken to the particular woman, that the right and best thing for her to do is continue her pregnancy? How do they know that the right decision for a barely coping mother with three kids under 5 and a partner who has just got the sack is to have another child? How do they know that it would be best for our sister with the substance abuse problem to gestate and attempt to parent a kid? How do they know that despite what they say – the young parents facing the birth of a child with catastrophic birth defects – will cope and in the end be thankful they had the baby?
How do they know this? .
An abortion rights activist can’t help her heart aching when the humanity a woman is cast aside like yesterday’s refuse by those who never tire of telling us that their views on everything, including abortion, epitomise the moral. The abortion rights activist despairs at the refusal of Columbian doctors to provide a termination for a 13-year old girl raped by her 24-year old cousin. Despite the girls’ attempt to kill herself when the pregnancy and STIs were diagnosed, the refusing medico justified his decision on “moral grounds.” In November 2009, a 27-year-old mother of four staggered into a Catholic hospital in Phoenix Arizona. She was granted an abortion by a committee convened to assess her case after the patient’s doctors agreed she had a close to 100% risk of dying if the procedure was not performed. When a nun on the committee was subsequently excommunicated, the Priest explained his decision by saying: “The reason for [an abortion] never matters.” Neither, for moral reasons it seems, does the woman.
Australian abortion rights activists QUAIL at the prospect of such horrifying situations arising here, and for good reason. When the 2008 Victorian Law Reform Bill became law in 2008, a small coterie of Church leaders, religious academics and religious lawyers – as well as a handful of religious doctors who called themselves the Doctors in Conscience– railed against a clause in the law that in one situation denied them the freedom to refuse a patient abortion care. That situation? When failure to provide an abortion meant the woman died. Doctors in Conscience castigated the law for ushering in “a new era of healthcare in Australia in which individual health workers and healthcare organizations can be coerced to act contrary to their consciences.” [repeal clause 8 threat by new Vic Lib gov]
Abortion rights activists can’t stop feeling AFRAID. Afraid that if we don’t speak up, if we don’t step up and say no – NO! – this is my body and my life that we or someone we love will be stripped of the most important moral and legal entitlement a human being can have – one essential for human dignity and the exercise of autonomous choice. What is this entitlement? Stewardship of one’s own body. How can a person plan for and invest in a life replete with what she sees as essential for a good life when at any moment she might have sex – consensually or otherwise – end up pregnant and have to down tools to have and to raise a(nother) child? How can women be other than reproductive slaves if through restrictive abortion laws and restrictive access to abortion they can be forced to gestate and to bear one child – multiple children – against their will?
Finally, an abortion rights activist can’t help but speak her mind. She won’t be silenced, no matter how often she is deemed extreme, or that old favourite for women, shrill. She speaks up for herself and for other women who have been shamed by the church and the state into lowering their eyes and biting their tongues at the precise moments it is imperative that they stand to defend their right to dignity and to timely first-rate healthcare services. On behalf of these women – and we need to remember that 81% of Australians & 87% of women of reproductive age believe women should have the right to choose abortion – the abortion right activist says, “no.”
No, it is not your right to decide, it is mine. Only I can say whether I can or should have any child – this child – right now. I am an adult, a citizen and a moral agent. The only person authorised to decide what the right thing is to do in my situation is me.
Australian abortion rights activists have work to do
All high-minded stuff. Though sadly not the sort of sentiments that govern most aspects of women’s reproductive healthcare in most places in Australia. Australian women do not, in law, have a right to choose in any state other than the ACT, and Victoria (if they are not more than 24 weeks pregnant) and – in a more compromised fashion and only up to 20 weeks pregnancy – West Australia.
I want to be really clear about this. In most states in Australia, including the populous states of Queensland and NSW, women do NOT have a right to choose. They are not lawfully empowered to decide for themselves if they will continue or terminate their pregnancy. Instead, the law places the decision in the hands of one or even two doctors. In all places but Victoria and the ACT, all or part of the law governing abortion is found in the crimes act or criminal code. In Queensland and NSW it appears in a near identical form to that found in an 1861 English statute, reformed long ago in that country. That wording specifies that abortion is a crime punishable by jail. It is a crime for a woman to intend to abort her own pregnancy, for any person to intend to abort her using a wide range of meansand for someone to unlawfully supply or obtain for someone else the means to induce an abortion knowing that those means are intended to be unlawfully used to procure an abortion. Any one doing any one of these things – and I am now quoting from the Queensland Criminal Code – is “guilty of a crime” and “liable to imprisonment” for 7, 14 or 3 years respectively (10, 10 & 5 in NSW).
Law DOES NOT EQUAL access
But wait a minute, you might say. I’ve had an abortion or a friend or cousin or sister has had one. Just there, down the street, at the local clinic. So how can abortion be a crime?
There are a number of explanations for this extremely confusing state of affairs, but here I will confine myself to just one. That is the excuses either written into the criminal code itself and/or developed as a consequence of judicial rulings made in cases where a medical practitioner was charged with procuring an unlawful abortion and hauled into court. These excuses tend to focus on the word “unlawfully” in the criminal statute, and go about prescribing the sort of reasons that a person charged with the crime of intending to procure an abortion must have to render their action lawful. These vary from state to state but in essence, come down to a claim by the abortion provider that s/he formed a reasonable belief that the abortion was necessary to preserve the woman’s life or her physical and/or mental health. What the medical decider can consider in forming his or her judgement about the impact on the women’s physical and/or mental health of being forced to carry to term varies between jurisdictions.
I can see all those furrowed brows out there and I should say that I spent a fair bit of time trying to make some general statements about the law in Australia that were comprehensible by a lay audience. Now what is most likely to happen is that at the end of the talk a lawyer will jump up and say that I’ve misunderstood one or another aspect of the law and another will leap up to say that lawyer is incorrect and that actually what the law says is something entirely different to what I or the lawyer have intimated and the whole things will remind one of the Jewish joke I can tell because I am Jewish which is that where there are 4 Jews in a room they’ll be 5 opinions. All of this will do nothing more than underscore the point I am trying to make which is that the law of abortion In most places in Australia is as clear as mud.
Now, there are a few things worth pointing out about the laws of abortion I have just attempted to describe.
One thing worth pointing out is that that a woman charged with unlawful abortion has no recourse to the excuse that I have just described and tends to be known as “the necessity” defence. It is not open to her to say I formed a reasonable belief that the abortion was necessary to preserve my life, my physical, my mental health. These excuses were constructed and appear only available for use by providers.
The second is the law’s paternalistic flavour. The laws that I have been discussing and which apply in most jurisdictions around the nation do not give Australian women the right to choose. Instead, what they do is direct doctors to gatekeep – to dole out abortion services based on their (sometimes mistaken) reading of the complex laws that govern the procedure in their state or territory or – with the exception of Victoria – their religious views about abortion.
Moreover, nowhere in Australia does the law address the refusal of Catholic hospitals to provide abortion services. As the church’s episcopal vicar for life and health, Anthony Fisher, made plain in 2009: ”Catholic health-care institutions, whatever legal, financial or other pressure they are under, may not co-operate with abortion.”
This situation is disturbing because 21 one of the nation’s tax-payer funded public hospitals are run by Catholic Health Australia. In some rural and regional areas Catholic hospitals are the only game in town. Even more sobering when you understand that the refusal of Catholic hospitals to provide abortion services is not something disclosed to women when they arrive in casualty or book in as maternity patients. One Catholic response to this complaint has been that disclosure and consent is unnecessary on this count, as EVERYONE knows the Catholic position on abortion. I would question this. Can we really be sure every new migrant, every teenager knows the Catholic hierarchy’s position on reproductive choice? But even if everyone did know where Catholic stand on abortion I bet they didn’t know the ban means that:
– women with a wanted pregnancy who have just had a catastrophic fetal abnormality diagnosed often by the Catholic hospital responsible for their prenatal care will not be given the option of abortion nor have a request for one honoured;
– rape victims brought into casualty will not be told about the availability of emergency contraception nor offered it, even after a request. If the woman is believed to be pregnant, she will not be referred to a rape crisis centre which would discuss emergency contraception with her;
– women whose membranes rupture too early and whose fetuses are consequently doomed will be denied surgery to remove the fetus. THey will also be denied drugs to speed delivery of the dead baby until sepsis is diagnosed and the woman’s womb or life is at risk
While I am incensed by all of this, I want to make clear where I am directing my anger. I am not directing it at the medical profession, who have no choice but to operate within the paternalistic framework of the law. No choice but to seek the personal reasons of each and every woman when they present seeking a surgical termination or a course of pills that induce miscarriage. No choice but to step outside their rightful role as a health practitioners focused on providing best practice medical care based on the informed decisions of competent adult patients in order to interrogate women – young/old, single/married, school dropouts & women with doctorates – about their reasons. To insist these women give account of themselves for their records – records they will be forced to rely on should they end up in court. And women, however, much they might feel – correctly – that her reasons are none of the doctor’s business and that they are irrelevant to his capacity to provide a medical assessment of her suitability for termination, well they must offer them up if they want to pass muster and qualify for a lawful abortion.
I am also not blaming Catholic Healthcare institutions who are pretty plain about the religious limits placed on their ability to offer gender egalitarian healthcare and ethical, best practice healthcare to women. To me blaming them for this is like blaming a leopard for having spots. To me is seems clear that he onus of responsibility for the shocking abortion laws that prevail in most jurisdictions – shocking in what they contain and fail to contain – lies clearly and squarely with our elected representatives. They are the ones who refuse to remove abortion from the criminal law so that it can be regulated like all other medical procedures. They are the ones who allow religious providers to run public hospitals knowing full well that while the money to run these hospitals comes from all of us, it will not be used to provide essential healthcare services for all of us.
Where is the dignity for women in any of this? The respect for our right to privacy? Her entitlement to ethical and best practice medical treatment, and to be treated no differently to non-pregnant women and male patients? Can anyone even imagine a criminal statute that demanded this sort of intimate interrogation, inappropriate evaluation and paternalistic judgement governing the common medical decisions of men?
It is broke and it couldn’t be worse
All of this goes to the point I wish to make about the most common response that lawmakers give to medical practitioners and abortion rights activists who want the law to change. That response is that it ain’t broke, so why fix it.
The law’s lack of clarity, its paternalism, the profound disconnect between it and community standards about privacy, gender equity and the entitlement of patients to ethical & timely best practice medical care no matter where in this wide brown land she resides unequivocally demonstrates that it is indeed broke. Nonetheless, when abortion rights activists have raised these matters in the past the Alfred E. Neuman-esqe reply was usually, “What, us worry?” It is a cliché but nonetheless true that if I had a dollar for every time someone who could do something about the appalling laws that govern abortion in this country told me “it ain’t broke, so why fix it,” I would be fabulously wealthy.
And then came Queensland.
The charging of Cairns couple 19-year old Tegan Leach and 21-year old Sergie Brennan in 2009 with abortion related crimes abortion-related crimes was a game changer. Here, at last, was incontrovertible proof that not only did the law of abortion denigrate, patronise and discriminate against Australian women, it also put them and their partners at very real risk of being charged, tried, convicted and sent to jail for undertaking what the World Health Organisation says is “one of the safest medical procedures.”
The Cairns case also exposed how confused Australians of reproductive age like Leach and Brennan are about the laws of abortion that reign in their state or territory. How many Australians mistake the relative availability of safe abortion services as evidence that abortion is no longer a crime? Nowhere was this made more painfully clear than in the central evidence relied on by the prosecution in this case against Tegan and Sergie. In videos played in open court of separate police interviews with them, both speak freely of Tegan’s discovery of her pregnancy and their shared decision that neither was mature enough to parent. (Tegan told police she couldn’t look after herself, let alone a baby). Both young people gave fulsome explanations of how Tegan had procured her own abortion using pills had she obtained from Sergie’s sister in the Ukraine.
Those who were in the court at the time have told me this video evidence was painful to watch. Why? Because it was patently clear as the couple spoke freely to the cops – without a lawyer in sight – that they had no idea they were confessing to a crime.
The Queensland case also shone a desperately needed light on the two-faced, cowed and cowardly nature of Australian politicians when it comes to this critical area of women’s health. The way in which “the nation’s leaders” promise activists the moon before an election, but once they win turn their backs on their female constituents – half of any electorate – in favour of pandering to a tiny fundamentalist minority who admittedly do tend to turn nasty when anyone attempts to stop the law that governs all of us representing their religious views. “It ain’t broke so why fix it,“ they say. Or they do a version of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s favourite: that attempting to reform the law risked making things worse.
Many of the details of this depressingly repetitive tale as it played out in Queensland can be found in a wonderful ABC RN Background Briefing called Abortion on Trial. In it, journalist Wendy Carlisle documents the story of promise and betrayal that led to the charges against Leach and Brennan (I’m also going to add in a bit of detail I know from other sources, but most of what I’m about to relate you can find there). This depressingly familiar story of promise and betrayal began – in Queensland – with the claim of former Premier Peter Beatty that no one had been charged under Queensland criminal law and if they were, he would change it. It concluded with the spectacular welching on that deal by Beattie’s successor, self-described pro choice feminist Anna Bligh.
The Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh ignored the gift-wrapped political opportunities the prosecution of Brennan and Leach offered to spearhead abortion law reform. Despite having shown herself during the Queensland floods as someone well-capable of getting across detail or deferring to experts when she was out of her depth, Bligh repeatedly misled the public about what the Leach/Brennan case was about. Perhaps – and I’m speculating here – in a ham-fisted attempt to dissipate community pressure for law reform. For instance, Bligh wrongly implied on ABC TV’s Q & A that Leach & Brennan were being prosecuted for the illegal importation of drugs and/or their administration without medical oversight. In fact, Leach and Brennan had been charged under sections 225 and 226 of the Queensland Criminal Code, respectively, the ancient sections that criminalise a woman and anyone else involved for unlawful abortion. Finally, and again all too typically for high-profile supposedly pro-choice supposedly feminist, often Emily’s List Labor women, Bligh worked actively behind the scenes to stymie all attempts by backbenchers to bring forward a private member’s bill to reform the law. Indeed, according to former Labor MP Bonny Barry, the numbers for successful abortion law reform in Queensland were there when Barry came into the Parliament, and were still there years later, when Bligh took over. Barry had a carefully constructed spreadsheet to prove it, but Anna Bligh didn’t look at it and in deference to that central Labor value – loyalty to the leader, the faction, just about anyone but the constituents they were elected to represent – Barry desisted and, in her own words, let the women of Queensland down. As she told a crowd of pro-choice advocates outside the courthouse on the first morning of the Leach/Brennan trial:
I never thought that I would see this today. I believed my political leaders, that were Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh at the time, when I was told that no-one would ever be charged under this legislation.
Barry said that:
…for the eight years that I was in parliament, I had the opportunity to move an abortion bill. And I’m here today to make amends, and to say that I am sorry that I didn’t. And I apologise that I let my loyalty to my leadership get in front of what should have been my loyalty, and that was to the majority of my constituents, to the Labor party and to women.
Mercifully, the Cairns couple were acquitted. The verdict was founded on the conclusion that neither of the legal and widely-used pharmaceuticals used in Tegan’s medical abortion were “noxious” to the woman – a key word in the criminal statute. Consequently, the jury concluded her abortion was not unlawful. But what this ruling tells us about what the current law of abortion is in Queensland is anyone’s guess. Some have speculated the judgment removes medical abortion – that procured through pills – from the reach of the criminal code, though surgical abortion remains a crime. Others disagree, including some of the providers who have yet to resume service levels prevailing before the couple were charged.
Such confusion is par for the course not just with Queensland’s law, but the law of abortion in much of Australia. Whether articulated through statute alone or a combination or statute and judicial rulings like those in the Leach case the law is unclear. It is unclear to women and their partners as the Leach case demonstrates and it is unclear to the medical doctors who must administer it. One survey, done in 2004, found that 37% of GPs feel they don’t fully understand the abortion laws that prevail in their jurisdiction. Worse, many of the GPs who think they understand the laws are mistaken. For instance, they don’t believe a GP referral is required when it may be, or they think severe fetal abnormality constitutes grounds for lawful abortion in their jurisdiction when it doesn’t. The lack of clarity of much abortion law sees doctors regularly misinforming women about their capacity to access services and is patently unfair to the women and medical practitioners who – as the Leach and Brennan case shows – face a very real risk of prosecution if they get it wrong. Unclear laws can lead to lawyers advising their medical clients to practice conservatively just in case, and the problems with compliance that result from confusion about unclear laws brings the law into disrepute.
In conclusion and not to put too fine a point on it, abortion law in much of Australia is a real shlemozzle.
Repeal, and How we can get it
What I hope all this has convinced you of is that inn most jurisdictions in this country, we need abortion law reform. In particular, we need repeal. We all mentions of abortion withdraw from the criminal law and the procedure regulated like all other medical procedures. Politicians can be made to act, we saw this in the ACT and Victoria – and always, among them, there will be a few brave and savvy enough to lead the charge.
There is a whole nother lecture involved in advising specifically about the ways and means of obtaining law reform, but I will focus on just one. The importance of people like you.
Women get law reform when they believe they deserve it. When they are willing to do more than tell pollsters they support a right to choose abortion, but are actually willing to put their stories in the public domain and their energies into achieving it. The key is to dispense with the shame and guilt opponents of choice peddle precisely because they are so debilitating. Pro choice people must act like the majority and demand our rights without apology. Politicians respond to pressure. They respond to how many emails are in their inboxes, how many prochoice letters are in the paper and pieces on the opinion page. They respond, God help us, to the number of comments on pro-choice pieces in online newspapers and blogs and to that ultimate scientific barometer, the balance of calls for an against on talk-back radio Again, another lecture on how good a source of information this is on where the community stands on issues, but we’ll just move along for now.
But to give Australian politicians some credit – and this talk has admittedly been somewhat lacking in this department – there is some sense in the signals and signs to which Australian politicians attend. Because what a politician wants to know is not what Joe or Jane Doe in their electorate think about one or another issue. What they want to know is Joe and Jane care enough to do something about it. If they care enough to write a letter or sign a petition or most critically, to change their vote and urge their followers to do the same. This is where and how the anti-choice – well funded and organised but numerically infinitesimal in terms of their representation in the community – do so well, and where prochoice forces must lift their game.
To achieve repeal prochoice forces must canvass candidates about their stance on repeal and inform their constituencies. They must find ways to give voice to the pro-choice majority during the months and years it takes to get law reform on the agenda, and through the arduous process of getting a repeal bill passed. In Victoria, for what I believe may have been the first time ever, Pro Choice Victoria managed to get MPs more mail than anti-choice forces did. That the campaign was largely successful, I would argue, is intimately connected to this fact.
I want to close this speech by paying tribute to the rare, brave principled politicians who I have had the privilege of working with to achieve abortion law reform. The women and men who stood up to be counted and did all it took to give their female constituents a choice. Lily D’ambrosio, Maxine Morand, Martin Foley, Colleen Hartland, Andrea Coote, Candy Broad, Judith Troeth, Lyn Alison, Claire Moore, Natasha Stott-Despoja, Mal Washer and Wayne Berry. (WAYNE IN AUDIENCE)
 Cannold, L (1995) Women, Ectogenesis and Ethical Theory, Journal of Applied Philosophy 12(1)
 Cannold, L (1994) Consequences for patients of health care professionals’ conscientious actions: the ban on abortions in South Australia, Journal of Medical Ethics 20(2)
 (2010) “Abortion in Australia” in W. Bonett (ed) The Australian Book of Atheism. Scribe
 Cannold, L with Calcutt, C (2001) “The Australian Pro-Choice Movement and the Struggle for Legal Clarity, Liberal Laws and Liberal Access” in B. Klugman and D. Budlender (eds) Advocating for Abortion Access: Eleven Country Studies. Women’s Health Project, Witwatersrand University Press.
 Clancy, M (2010) Nun Excommunicated for Allowing Abortion, National Catholic Reporter http://ncronline.org/news/justice/nun-excommunicated-allowing-abortion?page=8
 Betts 2004 Attitudes to Abortion in Australia 1972-2003, People & Place 12(4): 22-28
 Cannold, L (2009) Women are being failed by our hospitals http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/women-are-being-failed-by-our-hospitals-20091102-htcd.html
 WHO 2003 Safe Abortion http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2003/9241590343.pdf
 “But I am deeply aware that there are many people on both sides of politics in the Queensland Parliament, who hold a very different view to me, and I think bringing a law reform Bill that has no prospect of passing, could in fact make things worse.” And on Q & A: “But I see little or no point in bringing something into the Parliament which I know will not succeed and where changes to it as a result of being on the floor of the Parliament, could actually make access to these services more difficult for the women who need them.” Backround Briefing Abortion on Trial