Take Action: tell Barry O’Farrell to vote NO on Zoe’s Law this Thursday

This Thursday the Liberal Party of NSW will try to push through “Zoe’s Law“. F has previously posted about this anti-choice bill. It’s time to take action.

We’re asking feminists across NSW to call the Premier’s office to let him know you don’t support this law, and ask him to vote against it. We’ve got some suggested wording below, or you can use your own. What matters is that Premier O’Farrell hears your voice before the vote on Thursday. Call his office on Wednesday the 20th November.

Here is our suggested wording for speaking to Barry O’Farrell’s electorate office:
  1. Dial 9228 5239 and ask to speak with Premier O’Farrell. State that you are voting citizen of NSW and that you are calling to speak with your Premier about “Zoe’s Law”. Try not to freak out if he takes your call (hey, you never know!).
  2. The person who takes your call will likely say no, though. At this point ask to leave a message. Give your name, phone number and address. Explain that you are calling to ask Premier O’Farrell to vote against the Crimes Amendment (“Zoe’s Law”) Bill No. 2 2013. If you want to, you could let the staff person know that Zoe’s Law is anti-choice legislation and does not represent your views or the views of the vast majority of people in NSW. If you are able to speak to an adviser of the Premier (like scouts, we’re prepared), see below for some points to make.
  3. When the staff person confirms that they have taken your message down, check they have your details correct.
  4. Ask for the Premier to return your call to discuss the issue and let you know which way he will be voting.
  5. Thank the staff member.
  6. Let us know on facebook or twitter that you have called the Premier, and encourage your friends to do the same!
  • Premier O’Farrell’s office staff may not be happy to hear from you, as they will be getting a lot of phone calls on the issue.
  • It is your right to expect your Premier to hear your views and take them seriously.
  • Though you may not get a return phone call, know that you have reminded the Premier that his actions will not go unchallenged on Zoe’s Law. Well done!
If you speak to the Premier or an advisor, tell them why it is important to you that this Bill doesn’t pass. Here’s some supporting information you can use:

The current law already carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years: existing law already allows the courts to take facts like the destruction of a foetus into account and where appropriate order prison sentences up to 25 years.Legal and medical experts say the Bill is unnecessary: The NSW Bar Association says the Bill is unnecessary and creates a potential conflict of rights if a foetus is defined as a person. The Australian Medical Association have publicly stated that the Bill will make it difficult for doctors to do their job and may lead to criminal charges.
Foetal personhood could be extended to other contexts: the Bill says a foetus is only a ‘living person’ for some offences, but there is no way to prevent this limited definition from being used to argue that a foetus should be treated as a person in other contexts(just choose one or two to say):

  • For example, restrictions on the behaviour of pregnant women: bans on smoking or drinking alcohol or heavy exercise or taking medications that might have side effects for the foetus; increased surveillance of vulnerable and disadvantaged women; forced admissions for detoxification or treatment;  forced surgical interventions like caesarean surgery; criminal charges and time in prison or institutions.
  • For example, restrictions on access to abortion care: if a foetus is defined as a person how can pregnant women consent to terminate another person or how can medical practitioners carry out an abortion on a ‘living person’ without risk of prosecution
  • For example, changing the way pregnancy is perceived and experienced: pregnant people will feel judged and experience shame, stigma or guilt if they do anything that might be seen as unhealthy or risky to the ‘living person’ inside them. This may also put pregnant people at increased risk of control and abuse from a violent partner or family member.

Feminists are working to help stop the bill, but it’s also important to respond if it passes the lower house. Save the date for a snap action on Thursday afternoon.

4 Responses to “Take Action: tell Barry O’Farrell to vote NO on Zoe’s Law this Thursday”
  1. Catriona Macleod says:

    I cant see how to post on your facebook page, but did call this morning

  2. Merike Johnson says:

    This is a serious attack on women’s rights and is part of the current “war on women”.

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