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Queensland government legalises abortion after historic vote

NSW is now the only Australian state where abortion is still considered a crime.
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In historic news, the Queensland government have voted to legalise abortion.

Originally classed as an “offence against morality” under the criminal code, abortion will now be treated as a health issue. Women can legally terminate their pregnancy at 22 weeks and safe access zones of 150 metres around clinics to protect women from harassment have also been introduced.

While doctors are allowed to refuse a patient treatment on moral grounds, the law now requires them to refer her to another medical practitioner.

Labor and LNP granted members a conscience vote with the results coming in at 50 votes to 41 on Wednesday night after a two-day long debate.

Speaking to Seven News about the result, the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “It’s historic, it’s taken a century to get to this point and I’m very proud tonight in the way that the debate has been conducted.”

Deputy premier Jackie Trad, has been a vocal supporter of reproductive rights since the 1990s and was very happy with the vote’s outcome.

“I do really want to commend the leadership of the premier, she set the tone and temperament of this debate and she’s done what no other Queensland Labor premier has done and that’s bring this historical form to the floor of parliament.”

Abortion is no longer classed as a crime in Queensland. (Image: AAP)

During the debate, the Queensland premier said, “I’ve 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.”

The deputy premier added, “We would not be having this conversation if men were capable of having children. The right of women to control their own reproduction, their own bodies is such an important part of equality in our society.”

READ MORE: “I felt like a criminal for having an abortion.”

On Wednesday night, both politicians tweeted about the vote outcome.

“Tonight Queensland joins other jurisdictions, both in Australia and around the world, in recognising termination as a health matter. A matter between a woman and her doctor,” Palaszczuk penned.

“What a day for women. What a day for Queensland. We finally did it,” wrote Trad.

WATCH: Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad talks abortion laws.

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NSW is now the last state in Australia where abortion is technically classified as a crime and the Greens and women’s rights organisations, such as Fair Agenda, want change.

“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.”

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