"Sorry it took so long." Abortion legalised in NSW after amended bill passes lower house.

NSW parliament has passed laws decriminalising abortion.

The fight is officially over after months and months of debate, protest and near spill motions.

There was applause in the Lower House as the Abortion Law Reform Act passed its final hurdle this morning.


Last night, after nearly 40 hours of discussion (making it the third longest debate in the state’s upper house) the bill passed 26 votes to 14.

Explaining abortion to uncle Barnaby. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

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 as well as later abortions if two doctors agree.


Upper house MPs passed an amendment last night, that recognised doctors performing abortions after 22 weeks can seek advice from a multidisciplinary team, or hospital advisory committee.

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

While Ms Leong posted on Facebook to send her congratulations to everyone who helped push the bill through.

“Well done to all of the amazing women, strong feminist activists, powerful pro-choice advocates and medicinal and legal experts who have got us to this point – over decades of campaigning and during the many hours of this debate,” she wrote.

The draft legislation has been 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.

Tensions 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.


Mr Mason-Cox said there has been “significant improvement” to the bill through amendments but declared it “dangerous”.

Amendments passed in the upper house include one clarifying that doctors must provide appropriate care to babies born alive after a termination.

Another states the NSW parliament opposes sex-selective abortions, and a future report on the issue is to include prevention recommendations.

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