Extremist Abortion Views Set to Lose New South Wales Government its Majority
04 September 2019
Tanya Davies has threatened to move to the crossbench if key amendments are not made to the bill. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP
Two MPs are willing to leave the Liberal Party over the issue
The provisions within a bill decriminalising abortion in New South Wales are seen as so extreme by some of the governing party’s own members that they are willing to leave the party. This will make the Government lose its slim majority.
Abortion splitting the party
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill passed its first stage by a vote of 59 to 31 in the lower house of the Parliament last month, but now Kevin Connolly and Tanya Davies, who are both sitting MPs of the Liberal party have made it clear to party leader Gladys Berejikian that the bill must be changed or they will quit the party. The Liberals won a surprise victory in last year’s General Election but with only a slim majority. The abortion issue is poised to eradicate that majority and a split within the party over the matter has already caused a delay in the bill’s progress to the statute book.
Change or we leave
Tanya Davies and her colleague Kevin Connolly made it clear to the Prime Minister that the bill must have changes including a ban on gender-selected abortions or they will step away from the party. Davies commented publicly: “if they do not make essential amendments to this bill, we will remove ourselves from the party room”.
Connolly has been equally forthright in a statement, saying: “Ideally, this extreme bill should be defeated outright and a new proper process commenced which would allow the community time to have input”.
The bill has provisions which force medics to refer patients for abortion even when they have a conscientious objection and opponents argue it will allow abortions to be performed for any reason up until birth.
Conscience over career
Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies spoke out on the issue declaring that the bill in question is an "appalling miscarriage of justice". He congratulated opponents of the bill and said: “I am very impressed by Tanya Davies being willing to give up her political career and move to the cross-benches”.
Prime Minister Berejikian is facing attacks on her leadership from other parties and rebellion from within her own ranks. The bill is due to be debated in the upper house on the 17th September 2019.