Bipartisan group of MPs push for abortion bill changes

The amendments would ensure a tough test is put in for abortions after 20 weeks, down from 22 weeks in the draft legislation (Bigstock)

A cross-party group of 10 MPs will move amendments to the abortion bill in the NSW upper house next week in an attempt to ban gender selective abortions and keep a baby alive if born during an abortion. Source: The Australian.

The group of Labor, Liberal and crossbench MPs’ amendments would also make it a crime to coerce women into an abortion ensure a tough test is put in for abortions after 20 weeks. The current legislation, moved by Independent MP Alex Greenwich and supported by Premier Gladys Berejiklian through the lower house, requires a tougher test after 22 weeks.

Shooters Fishers and Farmers leader Robert Borsak announced the proposed amendments yesterday flanked by Liberal MPs Taylor Martin and Matthew Mason-Cox and Labor MPs Courtney Houssos and Greg Donnelly.

Other supporters include Liberals Natasha MacLaren-Jones and Scott Farlow and One Nation leader Mark Latham.

There are 42 MPs in the state’s upper house with the majority (involving Labor and Nationals MPs and Greens mostly) understood to be opposed to making any amendments to the legislation.

Reacting to the division within the Liberal Party on the issue, government sources have told The Australian Ms Berejiklian is likely to support any amendments the upper house come up with.

Ms Houssos said she had been approached by pro-choice people who wanted her not to support the bill because it did not contain any restrictions.

Mr Mason-Cox said the current bill was an “abomination” which had not been through a proper process.

The amendments also contain a proposal for a maximum of seven years jail for health practitioners who flout the requirements of the bill.

Coalition MPs who support the bill are prepared to consider “sensible amendments” to ensure terminations are removed from the criminal code, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Nationals MP Trevor Khan, who is one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said it was likely that the upper house would agree to changes to the draft legislation.

“I believe the bill would have passed the upper house without amendments but we are prepared to consider sensible amendments,” Mr Khan said.

FULL STORY

Ten Liberal, Labor and crossbench MPs to move amendments to ban gender selection abortions (The Australian

Cross party group of NSW MPs join to amend abortion bill (Sydney Morning Herald)

RELATED COVERAGE

Gladys Berejiklian needs six upper house MPs to support abortion amendments (Daily Telegraph)

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