A debate to decriminalise abortion in Queensland has been cancelled and the issue postponed until at least the next term of parliament, after LNP MPs indicated they would not support the proposal.
Independent MP Rob Pyne has withdrawn his two bills, which were scheduled for debate tomorrow night.
Instead, the existing laws will be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) to provide advice that the Labor Government has pledged to enact if it is re-elected.
Because not all Labor MPs were expected to support changing abortion laws, at least some LNP MPs would have been needed to vote in favour for the reforms to succeed in Queensland’s tightly balanced Parliament.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the QLRC would be asked to look at options to remove the termination of pregnancies by medical practitioners from the Criminal Code and to look at a new framework.
“The Palaszczuk Government will commit to introducing a bill to reflect the views of the Queensland Law Reform Commission in the next term of government,” Ms D’Ath said.
“We believe this is important because the Parliament committee reports have shown that there are flaws in the current two billsT [introduced by Mr Pyne].”
However, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said a way could have been found to progress the issue tomorrow night if the Opposition had been prepared to consider amendments.
“You can always introduce amendments to legislation to make it better. You can always work across the parliamentary chamber to ensure that significant reforms such as this get through,” Ms Trad said.
“It’s clear that because the LNP has decided to vote as a bloc against modernising abortion laws in Queensland, both bills that the Member for Cairns has introduced will fail tomorrow night.”
Mr Pyne defended the drafting of his bills but thanked the Government for referring the issue to the QLRC.
“I think the stain of having a politician having the moved (the amendments) will be removed by going through this process,” Mr Pyne said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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