Abortion no longer criminal offence in Queensland after landmark vote

Laws to decriminalise abortion in Queensland have been passed by State Parliament.

MPs voted 50-41 in favour of the legislation after sitting hours were extended last night to deal with the matter.

Labor MPs rose to their feet and applauded while the public gallery erupted with cheers after the vote was announced.


LNP Members Jann Stuckey, Tim Nicholls and Steve Minnikin were among Opposition MPs who crossed the floor to vote for the changes.

The historic reforms came after two days of emotional debate which saw some MPs break down in tears.

The new laws will allow abortions up to 22 weeks, and after 22 weeks with the approval of two doctors.

It also establishes safe zones around abortion clinics in Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made an impassioned speech before the vote on Wednesday urging MPs to back the reforms, arguing it was a once-in-a-century chance to make a lasting change.

“Ultimately this is a health issue. Does a woman have the right to talk to a doctor about her health without committing a crime?”

“The answer is yes.”

A number of LNP MPs indicated during the debate that they supported decriminalising abortion but were against the gestational period of 22 weeks.

However attempts to amend the legislation to reduce that period to 16 weeks failed with only 10 MPs voting in favour of them.

A number of other amendments were also defeated.