On Wednesday, lawmakers in the Australian state of Queensland repealed a century-old law that made abortion a criminal offense punishable with jail time. Lawmakers voted 50-41 in favor of decriminalization. According to Eli Meixler of Time
, this move may be related to an increase in the number of women holding elected office throughout the state. “Queensland’s decriminalization of abortion comes in the wake of a significant increase in the number of women representing the state, particularly in leadership positions. In addition to [Annastacia] Palaszczuk, who became the first, female state premier to achieve reelection
in Australia last year, Queensland’s deputy premier and half of the cabinet are women,” Meixler writes. Five of Australia’s six states have now decriminalized abortion. In the United States, abortion services are legal, but they are restricted or hard to access in many states. Recent PRRI research
indicates that there is still a partisan divide among Americans over the legality of abortion. Seventy-three percent of Democrats believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to only 40 percent of Republicans. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans think it should be illegal, compared to 23 percent of Democrats.