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Sex-selection ban bid fails to pass

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Emotional moment: prolife protesters hold a sign aloft duing the rally in Hyde Park. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

The NSW upper house has rejected an amendment to the abortion bill that would outlaw terminations made soley on the basis of a child’s sex.

The debate, which was often passionate, adjourned at midnight on 18 September after 15 MPs voted for and 26 against the amendment moved by Finance Minister Damien Tudehope.

However an amendment requiring medical professionals to provide care to babies born alive after an abortion procedure was passed.

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Other amendments passed since the upper house debate began on Tuesday included the offering of counselling to women prior to an abortion after 22 weeks and a name change of the bill from the Reproductive Health Care Reform Act 2019 to the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019.

Other failed amendments include changing the bill’s reference to the one seeking an abortion from ‘person’ to ‘woman’, and providing stricter regulations around late-term abortions.

Pro-life protestors continued their vigil outside Parliament House during both days and at times could be heard in the chamber well into the evenings.

In its current form, the bill would still allow for terminations up to 22 weeks on demand, and up to birth with the sign-off of two doctors.

The sex-selection issue has been one of the more controversial aspects of the bill. The amendment proposed by Mr Tudehope required that “a medical practitioner must not perform a termination on a person if the medical practitioner knows, or ought reasonably to know, is being performed for the purposes of sex selection”.

Debate continues today.

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