February 9, 2022


AWL has made a submission to the Attorney General’s department advocating against the following proposed Bills:

  • Religious Discrimination Bill 2019
  • Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019
  • Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religious) Bill 2019

AWL is particularly concerned that the draft Bill, if enacted, would compromise:

  1. access to healthcare for women, on the basis that medical practitioners, nurse
    practitioners and pharmacists may refuse to treat women on the basis of the
    women’s religious beliefs. This is particularly so in respect of women’s health needs in relation to contraception, abortion, and fertility services such as assisted
    reproductive treatment, and even more so for women in remote and regional
    communities who are already disadvantaged by virtue of the limited range of
    services they can access; and
  2. access to family violence support (including financial support and advice) on the
    basis of a woman’s relationship status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender
    expression, or parenthood experience. All women – and indeed, all people – should
    be able to access these services regardless of their sexuality, sexual history, marital
    status, religiosity or lack thereof, and AWL strongly recommends that the
    Government only provide grants to those organisations that disavow discrimination
    on religious grounds in the provision of services.

You can read a full copy of AWL’s submission here.