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WAAC Timeline, 1972 - 1981

The early days of WAAC occurred at a time of great change and upheaval in Australian society. Many existing traditons were found inadequate to meet the needs of the changing times, laws were subject to critique and demands for personal liberties grew. A WAAC member took the time to piece together this brief timeline of WAAC's first nine years. Anyone able to contribute further to this Timeline is invited to contact WAAC:




August 1972

Women’s Abortion Action Campaign (WAAC) formed

May 1973

McKenzie/Lamb Bill, Commonwealth Parliament

30 June 1973

WAAC demonstration


Right to Choose edition No. 1

7 March 1974

Public meeting and production of "What Have You Done

for me Lately?"

early 1974

Right to Choose edition No. 2

11 May 1974

WAAC demonstration one year after McKenzie/Lamb Bill

May 1974

Right to Choose edition No. 3

mid 1974

Preterm opens

June 1974

WAAC National meeting in Melbourne

July 1974

Right to Choose edition No. 4

July to August 1974

WAAC sponsored national tour of Jessica Star from WONAC

September 1974

WAAC national meeting in Sydney

December 1974

Right to Choose edition No. 5


International Women’s Year

WAAC receives $10,000 from Federal Government for


Publication of A Women’s Guide to Abortion –

"Why, How & Where".

Publication in migrant languages

February to March 1975

Right to Choose edition No. 6

April 1975

Preterm burns down. PSI opens


Throughout 1975 WAAC forums

14 & 15 June 1975

WAAC organises national abortion conference in Sydney,

includes: production of packages entitled abortion & you,

sponsoring visit by French abortion activist Giselle Halimi &

launchof English translation of her bookBobigny Affair.

As a result of June conference a liaison committee formed to

continuenational organisation.

mid 1975

Right to Choose edition No. 7

August 1975

WAAC speaks at Government-sponsored conference –

Women’s Health in our Changing Society – in Brisbane

late 1975

Organisation around Harrold Bill – first reading

October 1975

Right to Choose edition No. 8

6 December 1975

National WAAC demonstration

December 1975

Right to Choose edition No. 9. First hearing of the Liverpool case

February 1976

Liverpool Abortion Defence Committee (LADC) formed

March 1976

Right to Choose edition No. 10. Second hearing of Liverpool case

12 March 1976

WAAC public meeting at Leichhardt Town Hall re Harrold Bill

April 1976

WAAC survey of candidates in State election

20 April 1976

Public meeting of WAAC & LADC at Teachers Federation Auditorium

1 May 1976

Labor elected as State Government

May 1976

Harrold Bill lapses and Harrold loses his seat in the State election

Right to Choose edition No. 11

Spring 1976

Right to Choose edition No. 12

late 1976

WAAC launches repeal bill campaign

November 1976

National WAAC conference in Brisbane

December 1976

“No Bill” granted in Liverpool case

early 1977

Right to Choose edition No. 13

February 1977

Control referral service moves to Dymocks building

Autumn 1977

Right to Choose edition No. 14

July 1977

Bessie Refuge opens

September  1977

Preterm sacks founder Emmi Snyder

Repeal Bill quashed (see page 12, Right to Choose No. 15)

December 1977

Repressive abortion laws pushed through in New Zealand

early 1978

Right to Choose edition No. 15

February 1978

WAAC organises demonstration re New Zealand laws

early 1978

Government ordinance to prohibit abortion clinics in Canberra

February 1978

Hunt enquiry (re health funds & abortion)

WAAC leaflets & petitions

June 1978

International Campaign for abortion rights in London

Winter 1978

Right to Choose edition No. 16

July 1978

Right to Choose “Extra”

August 1978

Joan Shields, New Zealand abortion activist tour

Spring 1978

Right to Choose edition No. 17

sometime 1978

Migrant booklets completed & launched

15 September 1978

WAAC demonstration in solidarity with New Zealand day of action

October 1978

Susan Ryan presents motion to disallow Canberra clinic

ordinance – lost

November 1978

Lusher motion introduced in Federal Parliament to remove all

benefits for abortion.

WAAC questions parliamentarians & sends petitions

20 December 1978

Darling St Women’s Health Centre opens

Feb/March 1979

Right to Choose edition No. 18

31 March 1979

International Day of Abortion Action – WAAC demonstration

May 1979

Bulletin publishes Morgan Gallup Poll showing 73% in favour of legal abortions

sometime in 1979

Lusher motion defeated

mid 1979

Socialist Workers Party leaves WAAC

August 1979

Beginning of Qld Bill campaign

20 October 1979

WAAC Sydney demonstration against Right to Life Week of the Unborn

October 1979

Right to Choose edition No. 19

March 1980

Right to Choose edition No. 20. WAAC joins anti Depo Provera campaign

May 1980

Qld Bill defeated

October 1980

WAAC surveys candidates in Federal election

25 & 26 October 1980

WAAC national activists workshop Sydney

Summer 80/81

Right to Choose edition No. 21 with new magazine format

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