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Teen activist Bella Ziade joins NSW Pro-Choice Alliance rally

In June high school student Bella Ziade mobilised hundreds of Sydneysiders to protest NSW's restrictive anti-abortion laws amid fears US-style wind backs on reproductive health could be headed home. Today, she has thrown her support behind the NSW Pro-Choice Alliance rally in Sydney, this Saturday.

"The debate about decriminalisation of abortion in NSW has had some really ugly US-style tactics with the health of women and their access to safe, reliable and equitable care thrown aside as some politicians have gone into full anti-abortion mode," Bella said.

"We've had them trying every trick in the US anti-abortion book to stop the bill and make NSW's 119-year-old abortion laws even more restrictive.

"These politicians are a risk to all NSW women as they try to change and stop abortion decriminalisation. We know changes to the bill could see abortion access stripped back and doctors unable to provide care, affecting the most vulnerable women in our society.

"I took a stand in June that these US-style laws and tactics have no place in Australia, and I'll be speaking at the rally this Saturday because there's no point being silent when politicians are violently attacking our rights."

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill was passed throught the lower house on a conscience vote and will return to the NSW Upper House on September 17, 2019. Conservative MPs have threatened a range of actions if amendments are not adopted. Doctors, lawyers and women's health experts have united in warning against amendments which will further limit women's access to care and the ability of doctors to care for patients.

Alliance Chair Wendy McCarthy said she was delighted to be standing alongside the likes of Bella at the rally this Saturday.

"This is the generation of women who will benefit if we can finally decriminalise abortion in NSW. It is my great desire that they don't encounter the horrors and stigma of my generation," Ms McCarthy said.

"I'm proud to see young women like Bella stepping up and calling out those who want to ignore the conscience of their peers and community and move to block the bill or insert hostile amendments that ignore the very best advice from doctors, lawyers and women's health experts.

"If these politicians have their way, we really risk NSW women ending up in a worse position than they are now. Our laws can't be wound back further - it's time to trust women and support decriminalisation of abortion in NSW."

The NSW Pro-Choice Alliance Rally starts at 11am in Hyde Park North this Saturday. Crowds will gather near the Archibald Fountain.

"Abortion has been illegal in NSW for 119 years. It's time to trust women, support the decriminalisation of abortion and rally with us on September 14," Ms McCarthy said.


Media contact: 0402 880 653

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