Politicians in New South Wales have voted to decriminalise abortion, despite more than 10,000 people protesting against changing the law.
The Bill, which removes the killing of an unborn child from the criminal code, passed the Australian state’s upper house by 26 votes to 14.
The new law will allow women in New South Wales to have an abortion up to 22 weeks, or later when two doctors agree.
Over 100 amendments were put forward during the 70 hours of debate, and MPs opposing the Bill eventually secured more safeguards for women, doctors and babies born alive after abortion.
“it’s still a piece of legislation that tragically sanctions the death of the unborn”
Kieren Jackson, New South Wales Director of the Australian Christian Lobby said the amendments in the final bill made “a bad bill slightly better”.
“But we need to remember that it’s still a piece of legislation that tragically sanctions the death of the unborn”, he added.
Sydney’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the vote was “a very dark day” for New South Wales, and called the new law “a defeat for humanity”.