Pro-life MPs in New South Wales, Australia have managed to add safeguards against sex-selective abortion to an extreme bill which intends to permit abortion up until birth with the approval of two health professionals.
A simple amendment tabled by Finance Minister Damien Tudehope will state that the NSW Parliament opposes sex-selective abortions and will require a future review into sex-selective abortion with recommendations about how to prevent them.
It passed the upper house 28 votes to 13 after an earlier version, which attached a maximum six-month prison sentence for the offence, had been defeated.
Last month, pro-abortion MPs pushed a radical bill through the state’s lower house which could permit abortion for any reason right up until the day of birth.
Since then the upper house has considered more than 30 amendments to the bill, with debates set to resume on Tuesday.
In its current form, the extreme abortion bill will allow terminations up to 22 weeks without any kind of restriction at all as well as abortions up to birth if two doctors agree.
In addition to an amendment is opposition to sex-selective abortion, Pro-life MPs have been successful in tabling and passing a number of other amendments that will help protect some unborn children who will prematurely lose their life as a result of the extreme abortion bill.
One such amendment is the survival amendment, tabled by MP Niall Blair, which states doctors must provide appropriate care to babies who are born alive after a botched abortion.
The Spectator’s Rebecca Weisser noted the importance of the amendment, comparing it to other Australian States without such laws saying:
“In Victoria, in 2016, 33 babies with suspected or confirmed congenital abnormalities were born alive and left to die out of 310 late-term abortions. In Queensland, more than 200 babies who survived abortions between 2005 and 2015 were left to die.”
The upper house also agreed to a positive amendment moved by MP Taylor Martin to change the name of the radical laws from the Reproductive Health Care Reform Act 2019 to the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019.
Other pro-life amendments to be debated include; improved conscientious objection protections for doctors and mandatory counselling for those seeking an abortion.
Another amendment by MP Greg Donnelly to require informed consent for terminations of unborn babies with a suspected or confirmed disability was rejected by 26 votes to 14.
The abortion bill will be sent back to the lower house next week for a vote on its new form.
Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:
“While it is great to see pro-life MPs have had success in softening New South Wales’ extreme abortion bill, any loss of life due to abortion is a tragedy. This appalling Bill will result in a profound number of lost lives as it places no restrictions at all on abortion up to 22 weeks and will, in practice, allow for abortion for any reason up to birth, providing two doctors in the state are willing to approve the abortion”