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Abortion is decriminalised in New South Wales after weeks of contentious debate

Abortion is decriminalised in New South Wales after weeks of contentious debate and heated protests

NSW parliament has passed laws decriminalising abortion following a marathon debate and weeks of protest.

There was applause in the lower house on Thursday as the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 passed its final hurdle.

It comes after the bill passed the upper house 26 votes to 14 on Wednesday night following nearly 40 hours of discussion – making it the third longest debate in the state’s house of review.

‘With the passing of this bill, our parliament affirms that we trust women,’ Labor MP and bill co-sponsor Jo Haylen said just before the final vote.

‘We trust women to make decisions about their own lives and about their own bodies.’

NSW parliament has passed laws decriminalising abortion following weeks of heated protests and debate. Pictured: Pro choice protesters at a rally in Sydney earlier this month 

Pro Life and Pro Choice supporters clash after a Pro Choice abortion rally at Hyde Park in Sydney

Pro Life and Pro Choice supporters clash after a Pro Choice abortion rally at Hyde Park in Sydney

It comes after the bill passed the upper house 26 votes to 14 on Wednesday night following nearly 40 hours of discussion – making it the third longest debate in the state’s house of review.

The bill, presented to parliament in August by Independent MP Alex Greenwich, takes abortion out of the criminal code and allows terminations up to 22 weeks. 

‘Thank you to all members for the role you have played in this historic reform … we can feel proud that part of our legacy will be the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW,’ the Member for Sydney said.  

An amendment passed in the upper house recognised doctors performing abortions after 22 weeks could seek advice from a multi-disciplinary team, or hospital advisory committee.

Independent MP Alex Greenwich presented the amended bill to the lower house on Thursday, after he introduced the proposed bill to parliament last month

Labor MP Penny Sharpe, who is one of 15 co-sponsors of the bill, on Wednesday night said the vote was 119 years in the making

There was applause in the lower house on Thursday as the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 passed its final hurdle following a marathon debate and weeks of protest 

The legislation was opposed by religious groups, anti-abortion activists and several MPs who raised concerns about late-term and sex-selective abortions, conscientious objection and the way the bill was introduced.

Liberal and Labor MPs were allowed a conscience vote on the bill.

Tensions in the government reached a climax last week when Liberal MPs Tanya Davies, Mathew Mason-Cox and Lou Amato said they would move a leadership spill motion against Premier Gladys Berejiklian over her handling of the bill.

The rebel MPs, who ultimately withdrew the motion, said it had been made clear that ‘at an absolute minimum’ four key amendments were required to ensure continued Liberal Party membership.

Ms Davies on Thursday supported amendments made to the bill, saying they created more safeguards and brought the bill to a better place.   

Labor MP Penny Sharpe, who is one of 15 co-sponsors of the bill, on Wednesday night said the vote was 119 years in the making.

‘The current law has meant women and doctors have a threat of 10 years in jail for making this decision and that not okay,’ she told parliament.

‘This is a massive step forward for women in this state.’

Protesters (pictured) of the controversial bill have been vocal around the country in the lead up to government decision

Protesters (pictured) of the controversial bill have been vocal around the country in the lead up to government decision

 

 

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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