A Tasmanian woman filed a lawsuit after being fired by Cricket Australia for tweeting a number of statements about the government and its position on abortion.
“Cricket Tasmania has now withdrawn its support [and] we have reached the conclusion that your continued employment with Cricket Australia is untenable,” the organization told Angela Williamson in a June 29 termination letter, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Williamson worked in government relations and public policy at Cricket Australia.
Her termination comes after she tweeted June 14 that the Tasmanian government’s failure to offer low-cost abortions through its public health system is “irresponsible, gutless and reckless,” The New York Times reported Monday. She tweeted other remarks about the government on June 9 and May 28.
Tasmania is an island state of Australia.
“I’m not going to be quiet about reproductive health and surgical terminations,” Williamson told the Herald in a Sunday interview. She flew to Melbourne for an abortion after Tasmania’s only abortion clinic closed in January. “There was no pathway for me to access a surgical termination in Tasmania.” (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Sues South Carolina Over Medicaid Ban)
Tasmania decriminalized abortion in 2013, but women cannot access low-cost abortions in the island state. Private clinics offer abortions at a cost of roughly $1,850 U.S. dollars.
“The Fair Work Act says you can’t be sacked because of your political opinion, so we think that the case is pretty compelling,” Williamson’s lawyer Kamal Farouque said, TheNYT reported. He added that Williamson should be compensated and that they will fight for her to get her position back at Cricket Australia.
“A decision like this has the effect of killing public debate, and that’s not right,” he said.
Glad to represent Angela Williamson. She spoke out on a political issue which has deep personal importance to her. She should not have been sacked by Cricket Australia because of this @WeFightForFair https://t.co/rEdjJUg1I4
— Kamal Farouque (@kfarouque) July 30, 2018
Australia’s Fair Work Commission is currently reviewing the case.
Following Williamson’s termination, she began an “Every Australian deserves equal access to abortion” petition on Change.org. The petition has garnered more than 13,350 signatures as of Monday.
“Cricket Australia respects an individual’s right to their opinion,” Cricket Australia said in a statement, TheNYT reported. “However, it expects that employees will refrain from making offensive comments that contravene the organization’s social media policy,” it said, defending its decision to terminate Williamson’s employment.
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