Abortion WILL be legal in New South Wales because controversial bill is finally being adopted after a heated 40-hour debate
- The bill to decriminalize abortion at the NSW upper house: 26 votes to 14
- It was the third longest debate in the history of the Hogerhuis and lasted 40 hours
- The bill allows terminations up to 22 weeks and later if two doctors agree
- & # 39; This is a huge step forward for women in this state. & # 39; – Labor MP Penny Sharpe
Claps erupt at the NSW upper house when a bill to decriminalize abortion was finally adopted after a marathon debate, but the changes to it have yet to be approved by the lower house.
The bill passed 26 votes to 14 on Wednesday evening after MPs decided earlier in the day to remain seated for as long as it took before the debate ended.
It was debated for almost 40 hours, making it the third longest debate in the Senate.
More than 100 amendments were discussed with the bill of the private member to return to the House of Representatives on Thursday before it becomes law.
The bill to decriminalize abortion went through the NSW higher house (photo: an anti-abortion protester in Sydney)
The bill, which was submitted to parliament in August by independent MP Alex Greenwich, removes abortion from the Criminal Code.
& # 39; With the adoption of this bill, abortion is being decriminalized in NSW – I'm sorry it took so long & # 39 ;, Mr. Greenwich said in a statement Wednesday night.
The bill also allows cancellations up to 22 weeks as well as subsequent abortions if two doctors agree.
Members of the House of Representatives passed an amendment on Wednesday evening that recognized doctors performing abortions can seek advice from a multidisciplinary team or hospital advice committee after 22 weeks.
Labor MP Penny Sharpe, who is one of the 15 co-sponsors of the bill, said Wednesday evening that the vote was 119 years in the making.
& # 39; The current law has resulted in women and doctors being sentenced to 10 years in jail for making this decision, which is not good, & # 39; she said to parliament.
& # 39; This is a huge step forward for women in this state. & # 39; – Labor MP Penny Sharpe (photo)
& # 39; This is a huge step forward for women in this state. & # 39;
The draft legislation has been thwarted by religious groups, anti-abortion activists and various members of parliament who expressed concern about late and gender-selective abortions, conscientious objections and the way the bill was introduced.
Tensions peaked last week when liberal MPs Tanya Davies, Mathew Mason-Cox, and Lou Amato said they would be leading a leadership leak against Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian about her bill handling.
The rebellious MPs, who eventually withdrew the motion, said it had been made clear to the Prime Minister that "at an absolute minimum" four major changes to the bill were needed to ensure continued membership of the liberal party.
The changes include a ban on sex-selective abortions and stricter regulation of abortions in the long term.
Protesters (photo) of the controversial law have spoken throughout the country in the run-up to the government's decision
Mr. Mason-Cox said that the bill had been substantially improved through amendments, but stated it & # 39; dangerous & # 39 ;.
& # 39; This account is dangerous. The right guarantees are lacking. It completely ignores the rights of an unborn child, especially in the case of late-term abortions, "he told Parliament on Wednesday.
Mr Amato expressed similar concerns and noted that some MPs are jeopardizing their & # 39; career. hoping to defeat some of the more controversial elements of the bill.
The amendments adopted in the upper house include a clarification that doctors must provide appropriate care for babies born alive after termination.
Another state that the NSW Parliament opposes gender-selective abortions, and a future report on this issue should include prevention recommendations.
The lower house is expected to handle the bill on Thursday as the first company.
& # 39; With the adoption of this bill, abortion is being decriminalized in NSW – I am sorry it took so long & # 39 ;, independent MP Alex Greenwich
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