Historic bill to decriminalise abortion passes in NSW Lower House

The highly contested bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales has passed through the State Parliament’s Lower House.

Members of Parliament voted on whether or not they supported removing the practice of abortion from the Crimes Act, instead, defining it as a medical procedure in its own right.

The historic bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales has passed through the Lower House, 59 in favour, 31 against.

Gladys Berejiklian voted in support of the bill alongside Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Opposition Leader Jodi McKay.

Despite the bill’s passing, the proposed legislation still needs to pass the NSW Upper House and will be considered by at a Legislative Council meeting next week, to be voted on the week after.

Independent MP Alex Greenwich was the one who proposed the legislation and was supported by 15 co-sponsors including Brad Hazzard, the Minister for Health.

Speaking on Tuesday, Hazzard said:

“We … have the opportunity to right a wrong enacted into law 119 years ago..”

“A law that no-one has had the courage since to change. A law that put women’s reproductive rights into the criminal code. A law that was enacted when this place had legislators that were all men.”

The changes would also ensure specialists perform late-term abortions and those procedures could only be done in approved public facilities.

If the bill is passed in the Upper House, NSW will be aligned with other states and territories in Australia.