List of MPs who voted against abortion decriminalisation
IT TOOK just 50 people to change forever the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian women, when Queensland MPs voted to scrap laws making abortion illegal on Wednesday night.
Queensland women will now be able to choose to have an abortion without risking criminal prosecution.
The laws passed in state parliament will allow women to request an abortion up to 22 weeks gestation and also beyond, if the medical practitioner performing the termination has consulted with a second medical practitioner and both agree the abortion should be performed.
The changes also establish safe zones around clinics and medical facilities offering the procedure to stop staff and patients being harassed by anti-abortion activists.
The laws took two full days to debate, with dozens of MPs wanting to speak to the bill and were eventually passed with 50 MPs voting for and 41 against.
But the most shocking thing about the vote is gender divide between the "yes" and "no" votes.
Only six female MPs voted against the bill, with the other 35 no votes belonging to men.
The majority of those who voted for the bill were female MPs.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the changes will ensure women can access safe and legal terminations without fear or stigma.
"This is a historic day for Queensland. The Palaszczuk Government is proud to deliver on our election commitment to modernise and clarify the laws around termination of pregnancy," Ms
Palaszczuk said on Wednesday night, "because I believe, and I have always believed, a woman should be able to talk to her doctor about her own health and her own body without it being a crime."
Opposition MPs Steve Minnikin, Jann Stuckey and former opposition leader Tim Nicholls voting in favour of the changes.
Mr Nicholls told reporters after the vote that he thought he had made the right decision.
"I think it was and will be seen to as a historic day for all the right reasons," he said.
"I accept people won't like the decision I have made, but ultimately that is down to me and my conscience."
Before the debate began, it was revealed the LNP Pine Rivers state electorate council emailed MPs warning them they faced preselection challenges if they voted for the legislation.
Now The Greens and women's rights activists are putting pressure on the NSW Government to follow the example of Queensland and decriminalise abortion.
Abortion is still illegal in NSW, unless a woman has approval from a doctor that due to medical, financial, social or mental reasons she is unable to keep the child.
"NSW is now the last state in Australia where abortion is still technically a crime and it is past time that this outdated and offensive section is removed from the Crimes Act in NSW," NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said.
She added access to safe, affordable and legal abortion services should be a right for all women in NSW.
The call was echoed by women's rights organisation Fair Agenda.
"The system in NSW is hurting women; it is out of touch and out of date," Fair Agenda's executive director Renee Carr said.
"Queensland's historic reform was just passed with support from members in the ALP, LNP, Greens and an independent. This issue is above partisan politics, and it's time NSW brought its laws out of the dark ages."
QUEENSLAND MPS WHO VOTED TO MAKE ABORTION LEGAL:
Mick de Brenni
QUEENSLAND MPS WHO VOTED TO KEEP ABORTION ILLEGAL: