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19 September 18
Queensland Criminal Code 1899, sections 224, 225 and 226 .
Section 224. Any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.
Section 225. Any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to herself any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, or permits any such thing or means to be administered or used to her, is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
Section 226. Any person who unlawfully supplies to or procures for any person anything whatever, knowing that it is intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.
Section 282 of the Criminal Code attempts to define a lawful abortion and is used as a defence to unlawful abortion. The wording was amended in September 2009 to include medication abortion:
A person is not criminally responsible for performing or providing, in good faith and with reasonable care and skill a surgical operation on or medical treatment of:
a person or unborn child for the patient's benefit; or
a person or unborn child to preserve the mother's life;
if performing the operation or providing the medical treatment is reasonable, having regard to the patient's state at the time and to all circumstances of the case.
Under section 313 (2), it is crime to unlawfully to assault a pregnant woman and destroy the life of, do grievous bodily harm to, or transmit a serious disease to, “the child” before its birth. The penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
It is unclear whether section 313 (2) could be applied in the context of medical abortion. Arguably the word “unlawfully” in section 313 (2) would limit its application in that context to those medical abortions that are already prohibited under the Queensland provisions that make unlawful abortion a crime, and thus to abortions that do not satisfy the test in R v Bayliss and Cullen.