Openly gay Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s bill to decriminalise abortion has finally been made law after it passed a vote in the Lower House of the NSW Parliament today.
The bill was already passed by a vote of 26 to 14 in the Upper House last night.
“Abortion has been decriminalised in NSW. Sorry it took so long,” Greenwich posted online, after today’s historic vote.
The bill deeply divided the Coalition, particularly in the Nationals, with Barnaby Joyce actively campaigning against it.
However NSW Nationals leader John Barilo said he was proud to have backed the reform, telling the ABC: “What we’ve achieved last night is historic for the state, decriminalising abortion, taking it out of criminal act and putting it in the health act where it should be, and not treating women like criminals.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was absent from the house for the vote.
Responding to the passing of the bill, Amnesty International Australia national director Claire Mallinson said: “We are pleased that the NSW Parliament has finally voted with common sense to decriminalise abortion.
“It has been a long fight by many organisations and individuals and brings NSW in line with the rest of Australia in acknowledging that women’s rights include the right to control your own body and your reproductive health.”