Abortion will remain in the criminal code in Queensland for now, after Rob Pyne, the Independent member for Cairns, today withdrew two bills to legalise abortion that were due to be debated on Wednesday.
This comes off the back of Queensland’s Liberal National Party opposition leader Tim Nicholls saying yesterday that that none of his MPs would support the second bill.
“The first bill left the entire area of abortion unregulated and this was clearly untenable,” Mr Nicholls said. “The second bill attempts to correct the failures of the first Bill but falls well short.”
In regards to the contents of the bills, Mr Pyne wanted to push for abortion to be decriminalised with the first, and then set guidelines, including the establishment of 50 metre “safe zones” and gestation limits, with the second.
There were also concerns that there could be legal issues for women and doctors if only one bill was passed.
Following this, a statement from the Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk's Government confirmed the withdrawal of the bills, adding, “In the next term of Government, Labor will bring forward a Bill to Parliament to modernise Queensland’s abortion laws.”
Under current laws, women who obtain abortions “unlawfully” may face up to seven years in prison.