Position Statement: Official Statement on the Infant Viability Bill (Victoria) From The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

25 May 2016

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) strongly opposes Victorian Member for Western Metropolitan, Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkin’s Infant Viability Bill 2015.

RANZCOG recognises that termination of pregnancy is an important health issue and, as a medical procedure, should not form part of the criminal law.

The College is committed to improving the health and well-being of all women, and to the advancement of knowledge of the health effects of pregnancy and pregnancy termination.

Decisions around timing of termination of pregnancy may become more complex in the presence of some specific fetal conditions, multiple pregnancy, late recognition of pregnancy, advancing gestational age and pre-existing maternal disease.  The College supports the availability of late termination of pregnancy in rare situations where both managing clinicians and the patient believe it to be the most suitable option, as well as supporting a multidisciplinary approach in assisting women in such circumstances.

RANZCOG acknowledges that legislation regarding termination of pregnancy varies across jurisdictions and it is essential that health practitioners are aware of the legislation that applies in the jurisdiction in which they practice. Uniformity and clarity of legislation would benefit both health practitioners and the women for whom they care.

For more information, view the following current College statements:

Termination of Pregnancy (C-Gyn 17)
Late Termination of Pregnancy (C-Gyn 17a)



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