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Australia abortion laws: Terminations now legal in New South Wales

A protester holds a sign saying "my safety is more important than your feelings"

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Getty Images

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The legislation prompted much public debate in New South Wales

Abortion has been decriminalised across Australia after the last remaining state where it was illegal, New South Wales (NSW), voted to reform its laws.

The bill, passed on Thursday, overturns a 119-year-old law which had been criticised by opponents as archaic.

The legislation had generated weeks of heated debate and deeply divided the state’s conservative government.

Previously, abortions were possible in NSW only if a doctor deemed there was “serious risk” to a woman’s health.

The legislation was passed 26-14 in the state’s lower house after discussions about more than 100 possible amendments. It has already been approved by the upper house.

The law makes it legal for terminations to be conducted up to 22 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy – or later if two doctors agree.

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EPA

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The debate over the bill prompted protests on both sides

The reform had been strongly opposed by some activists and several MPs who raised objections due to their personal beliefs, as well as concerns about late-term abortions.

Australia abortion laws: Terminations now legal in New South Wales}

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