Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead was one of the politicians who voted against the Reproductive HealthCare Reform Bill 2019 (commonly known as the 'abortion bill').
The bill was passed through the NSW lower house with MPs voting in favour by 59 to 31.
The bill was originally tabled by Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich and seeks to remove abortion from the criminal code.
Mr Bromhead, along with Nationals MP Trevor Kahn MLC, and Labor MPs Penny Sharpe and Jo Haylen sat on a cross party working group that developed the legislation with the oversight of Health Minisnter Brad Hazzard. Because of the contentious nature of the bill, it was put to a conscience vote.
Mr Bromhead explains why he voted against the bill.
"I voted against the bill because I believe the current laws have served us well over many decades, providing the protections required for both woman and baby and respecting a woman's right to choose.
"(The Bill) did not decriminalise abortion as the proponents said. Abortion has been legal in NSW since 1971. What the Crimes Act talks about is 'unlawful abortion', so we in fact legalised unlawful abortion," he said.
"I was disappointed that the Bill did not go through the normal party room, and committee process. The speed at which it was sent through provided no chance to hold forums or survey in electorates.
"Women's choice - the bill's own evidence is the number of abortions will not change therefore under existing law women's choice was being catered for.
"Existing law includes provisions making abortion lawful taking into account women's medical, foetus medical, mental health, economic and social reasons. The Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill proposes the same requirements.
"The existing bill makes it unlawful to abort based on gender selection. Proponents of the new bill refused to leave under Crimes Act," Mr Bromhead concluded.
The exiting law makes all abortion a crime under Sections 82, 83 and 84 of the Crimes Act 1900, with both the woman having an abortion and the person performing the abortion liable to be sentenced to up to 10 years' imprisonment.
In 1971 the Levine Ruling was made, allowing abortions to be performed if a doctor deemed a pregnancy to cause "serious danger to the pregnant woman's life or to her physical or mental health" taking into account social and economic issues.