Australian Abortion Law Passes First Vote
After debating into the early hours this morning, MPs in the Australian state of Victoria voted 47 to 35 in favor of a bill to decriminalize abortion. There will be further debate and amendments moved tonight and tomorrow, before a final vote by the Lower House to determine whether the bill is passed and sent to the Upper House.
In Australia, laws regarding abortion care are left up to the states. Currently in Victoria, abortion is illegal except to preserve the health or life of the woman. Australian abortion regulations vary greatly between states and territories. Queensland and New South Wales have enacted laws similar to Victoria, while South Australia and the Northern Territory permit abortions in cases of health or life endangerment and fetal abnormalities. The only Australian state or territory to have completely decriminalized abortion is the Australian Capital Territory.