Abortion bill in NSW meets strong resistance

A PUSH to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales has met strong resistance from the Christian Democrats, who suggested those backing it cared more about animals than human lives.

Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi introduced a bill to state parliament a fortnight ago calling for abortion to be removed from the Crimes Act.

If successful, NSW would have the same laws as every other state except Queensland.

Only in NSW and Queensland are abortions banned unless a pregnant woman's mental or physical health is in serious jeopardy.

More than 100 law experts signed a letter to parliament calling for abortion to be decriminalised and privacy zones to be established around abortion clinics to stop protesters from haranguing mothers who terminate their pregnancies.

Christian Democrats leader Reverend Fred Nile said such exclusion zones were anti-democratic, pointing to the case of anti-abortion campaigner Graham Preston who was fined $3000 for protesting within 150m of an abortion clinic in Hobart.

"This anti-life Abortion Bill confirms the double standards of the Greens Party which strongly condemns the live baiting of baby rabbits, but is indifferent to the death of unborn human babies," Rev Nile said, alluding to the Greens' support for shutting down the greyhound industry.

Rev Nile also rejected a clause within the bill opposing doctors' right to conscientious objections to performing or referring for abortions.

"I call on NSW MPs to vote against this Greens Party anti-life, anti-democratic abortion bill," he said.

The debate is set to continue when parliament resumes this week. -ARM NEWSDESK

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