The bill to remove abortion from the NSW criminal code passed the lower house late on Thursday night after three long days of debate and several amendments.
MPs voted in favour of the bill 59 to 31. Members of NSW's lower house erupted into cheers. Health Minister Brad Hazzard, one of 15 co-sponsors of the bill urged his colleagues to support the draft laws. Greens MP Jenny Leong, another co-sponsor, said she was outraged the bill had taken so long. Sydney independent MP Alex Greenwich, who introduced the bill, said on Twitter after the vote in the lower house had made history. Premier Gladys Berejiklian voted for the bill, after facing criticism for not being more vocal in her support. Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Opposition Leader Jodi McKay also supported it.
The bill is fiercely opposed by anti-abortion and religious groups. “If a civilisation is to be judged by how it treats its weakest members, New South Wales failed spectacularly today,” the Archbishop said in a statement on Thursday night. Seven Liberal ministers voted against the bill. The proposed legislation still needs to pass the state's Upper House. Outside Parliament, campaigners from both sides rallying to have their voices heard.