Teenagers under the age of 16 in Western Australia will be allowed to seek an abortion without the permission of a parent or guardian under a major bill set to be introduced this week.

Currently, Western Australia is the only state or territory where a child under the age of 16 must inform a parent or guardian about their intent to seek an abortion.

If the child does not want to inform a parent, they must make an application to the Children’s Court in order to access the operation.

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the proposed amendments acknowledges that there are a “range of circumstances” where parental notification could pose a “safety risk to the child or is inappropriate or impractical”.

“The bill will remove this statutory limitation, recognising the concept of the mature minor … whereby a young person has sufficient understanding and intelligence to consent to their own medical treatment,” she said in the second reading of the bill.

However, a parent or guardian may still be required to be informed of the procedure if the medical practitioner has concerns over the “child’s competence to make a decision regarding abortion”.

While Western Australia was the first state to decriminalise abortion in 1998, the current government has critiqued the state’s 25-year-old abortion laws for being “outdated”.

The proposed legislation will also remove abortion from the criminal code, bringing Western Australian law in-line with other Australian states and territories.

In June, the government introduced an overhaul of its abortion laws, which would make it easier to access the procedure.

While women currently need to consult two health practitioners in order to access an abortion, the proposed laws would reduce this figure to one.

The gestational limit for accessing a standard abortion would also be increased from 20 weeks to 23 weeks.

Premier Roger Cook said current laws no longer met the needs of West Australian citizens.

“It is unacceptable that WA women face greater barriers in accessing what is a critical health care service, and the extensive consultation undertaken confirms that health professionals and the public overwhelmingly agree,” he said.

Women’s Interests Minister Sue Ellery said the revised legislation would allow women to make decisions about abortions “with dignity”.

“Abortion is a critical component of women’s healthcare and no woman should be forced to travel interstate or risk her own health because she can’t access an abortion,” she said.

Speaking about the proposed legislation on Friday, Ms Sanderson called for “respectful debate,” which would allow MPs a conscientious vote on issues around abortion.

“This is clearly an issue that people feel deeply attached to, and certainly, it’s very emotive,” she said.

“I’ve been very clear to say this needs to be a respectful debate, and respect people’s choices and wills.”

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