Abortion has finally been decriminalised in NSW

Today is a great day for women in NSW with the abortion law reform bill finally passing in government.

The eight-week fight has been one of extreme controversy, involving public protests and government bloodshed, with the push for women’s rights encountering far too many conservative roadblocks.

image: Zebedee Parkes

“This is about making sure women can make choices and that they can get a procedure which is health care. No longer will women be criminalised for making that choice and that’s a wonderful thing,” stated Labour MP Jo Haylen.

The bill was first introduced by independent Alex Greenwich on August 1st and was immediately put under the microscope by opposing members of the government.

Federal National MP Barnaby Joyce described the bill as the “slavery debate of our time” while NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro is proud of the government’s decision, noting the historical importance for NSW’s progressive step forward.

The abortion bill has been the third-longest debate the house of review has encountered, with the final vote in the Upper House standing at 26 votes for and 14 against.

The important fundamentals to understand from the abortion law reform bill are that; abortion has been removed from the Crimes Act, abortion is allowed up to 22 weeks gestation, and abortion is allowed post 22 weeks gestation as long as two ‘specialist medical practitioners’ give their consent.

Preventing or forcing an abortion is now a criminal act resulting in up to two years of jail time.

Not everyone is happy about the decision, with the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher likening legalising abortion to capital punishment.

“The new abortion law is a defeat for humanity. [It] may be the worst law passed in New South Wales in modern times, because it represents such a dramatic abdication of responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Let’s not forget the Catholic churches involvement with vulnerable members of the NSW community with Fisher replacing disgraced predator George Pell.