Until relatively recently, antidiscrimination laws usually included exemptions for churches and other religious groups so that they could practice and manifest their beliefs in freedom. That word exemptions is actually a misnomer, suggesting as it does some sort of concession from the state to eccentric minorities. These provisions are better described as protections of religious freedom-and such protections are increasingly being refused or defined in the narrowest possible terms in new antidiscrimination measures, with existing protections eroded or construed away by the courts. In Australia last year, the act of Parliament decriminalizing abortion in the State of Victoria included -provisions that made a mockery of conscientious objection, requiring doctors who object to refer patients to medical practitioners who will provide abortion. Where an abortion is deemed necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman, doctors and nurses are legally obliged to provide it, regardless of any conscientious objections they may have.