Tegan Simone Leach, a nineteen-year-old Australian woman, faces up to seven years in prison for allegedly facilitating her own abortion. Abortion is criminalized in the Australian state of Queensland, where Leach resides, with an exception only to save the life or health of the mother.
Leach reportedly used a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, which can be used to induce abortion but is typically used to treat gastric ulcers, to terminate her pregnancy, according to News Australia. The drugs were imported from the Ukraine.
Leach's 21 year old partner, Sergie Brennan, is being charged with supplying drugs to facilitate an abortion and faces up to three years in prison if convicted. Brennan told the Cairns Post, "I want to give my kid the best when I have a kid but at the moment I don't feel I can give them the best and that's the way she feels too."
Leach is the first woman in 50 years to be brought to trial regarding abortion in Queensland, despite the fact that 14,000 abortions are performed there annually, according to the Children By Choice Campaign. Queensland's Premier, Anna Bligh told the Australian. "I can understand that many people will be concerned about the circumstances of this young woman. It is, I think, a very tragic case...I'm not going to comment about the law while it's still being judged in the courts."
Media Resources: The Australian 9/14/09; Children by Choice; News Australia 9/11/09
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SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
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