Bodily autonomy

When it comes to reproduction and abortion rights, we believe women and girls should be free to make decisions about their own body and reproductive functions, without interference from the state or others.

We oppose the practices of circumcision and female genital cutting for non-clinical reasons, especially when performed on children without their informed consent.

What’s the problem?

Reproduction and abortion rights

While Australian states have made great gains in recent years in legalising abortion and establishing safe access zones to abortion clinics, women still face many barriers in accessing abortions.

A key problem is that many publicly funded religious hospitals refuse to provide abortion or contraceptive services. Women in remote and regional areas, in particular, can face high costs and limited options in accessing such services.

We support the right of individual medical practitioners to exercise a ‘conscientious objection’ and, therefore, not directly take part in providing abortion or contraception services, but we believe taxpayers’ money should not go towards funding religious hospitals that apply an ‘institutional conscientious objection’ to these lawful health procedures.

Circumcision and female genital cutting

Tens of thousands of circumcisions continue to be performed in Australia each year for non-clinical reasons – and with taxpayers picking up the bill through the Medicare system.

Data from Medicare claims shows that up to 23,000 boys each year are having penile circumcision for social, cultural or religious reasons.

We believe that circumcision and female genital cutting should be made unlawful, unless for medically acceptable reasons. Performed on young children without their informed consent, these practices also breach their fundamental human rights.

What we're doing

We’re lobbying the major parties and crossbenchers in the national parliament to address these issues.

What you can do

You can write to your local federal member of parliament or state/territory senators, or arrange a meeting with them, to voice your support for our position.

You can also consider helping us to make an impact by becoming a member of the Rationalist Society of Australia or making a donation.

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