SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

12 March 2019

UN INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY STATEMENT

Labor is concerned by the Morrison Government’s refusal to sign the UN International Women’s Day Statement.

57 countries including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan backed the call to help “remedy the accountability deficit in human rights violations of women and girls”, including barriers to reproductive rights.

However, Australia withheld support for the statement that called on member states to respect women’s and girls’ “right to bodily autonomy”, including guaranteed universal protection of sexual and reproductive health, comprehensive sexual education and access to safe abortion.

Labor is concerned by reports that the Morrison Government withheld Australia’s support because the statement explicitly calls for universal protection of women’s sexual and reproductive health, including access to safe abortion. Scott Morrison should explain why his Government refused to support this.

Labor believes reproductive choice and access to basic health care are fundamental rights.

This is why Labor last week announced a comprehensive national policy to enable Australian women to access legal, safe, affordable reproductive health services when and where they need them.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.