One of the key values of Martin Bullock Lawyers is compassion. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system often seeks retribution rather than rehabilitation, and there are many health issues tied up with the criminal justice system.
Some of these health issues include drugs, mental health issues, domestic violence and abortion. Often people affected by these health issues become embroiled in the criminal justice system.
Our principal, Greg Martin, believes that most health issues really need to be separated from criminal justice issues. For many people who struggle with health issues, the lack of appropriate care and support around them can often lead to encounters with the criminal justice system, which in turn leads to greater damage to their health. So many people battle with substance abuse and mental illness, and too often there is simply not enough support provided to these people, who end up being punished rather than being given an opportunity at rehabilitation.
Last week, a major health issue was overturned in Queensland – abortion was legalised after a historic vote in parliament. From a compassionate point of view, we believe that this was a good thing. Legal abortions do save lives, and can help women dealing with an already tough situation to receive appropriate care and support, both physical and mental, as well as giving them greater autonomy over what they can do with their bodies.
It is surprising that Queensland was able to change their laws before NSW. Under the NSW Crimes Act, abortion remains illegal within NSW unless “the operation was necessary to preserve the woman involved from serious danger to her life or physical or mental health”. Accordingly, it is up to the doctors to make a choice on reasonable grounds whether or not to proceed with the abortion. Women are not entitled to abortion on demand in NSW.
A recent ABC article explores some of the details of the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018, and how it came to pass through the state parliament in Queensland.