Abortion Law Reform 2017

On Thursday 11th May 2017, Members of the Legislative Council decisively voted to reject the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill introduced by Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi…

MLCs voted to reject Dr Faruqi’s bill by 25 votes to 14. This bill would have completely legalised abortion – on demand, up to birth, for any reason whatsoever.

That meant that if the Faruqi bill had passed through both houses, it would have been entirely legal to perform an abortion on a fully viable 9-month-old unborn child an hour before delivery.


This bill was extreme, dangerous and wrong. Right to Life NSW supported an official parliamentary petition against the bill which was tabled on 10th May, having gathered a massive 56,559 signatures in just two weeks.

Thankfully, MLCs listened to the widespread outrage of ordinary NSW residents – ignored by too much of the mainstream media coverage – and voted to strike down this extreme bill.

As well as allowing abortion on demand up to birth, the Faruqi bill would have implemented several other deeply concerning changes to the NSW law.

Extreme proposals

It would also have put women in NSW at greater risk of harm, by removing restrictions against unqualified persons performing an abortion (including self-administered abortions) and failing to provide safeguards to ensure women give fully informed consent.

This was not all either – the bill also denied the right of doctors to practice according to their conscience and to refuse to participate in an abortion if they do not believe this is in the best interests of their patient. Under the bill’s proposals, if doctors objected to providing or recommending an abortion, they would have been legally obligated to refer the patient to another doctor will to do so, thereby becoming complicit in the process.

As if all this was not enough, this extreme bill sought to establish “exclusion zones” around abortion clinics which would forbid anyone within such zones saying anything against abortion. These zones would even have criminalised the partner or family of a woman seeking an abortion if they were found to be asking her not to go through with it. Offenders could have been facing a penalty as severe as 6 months in jail.