Wendy Tuckerman votes in opposition to abortion bill

Wendy Tuckerman MP.

Wendy Tuckerman MP.

Member for Goulburn and Hilltops Councillor Wendy Tuckerman has voted in opposition to the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019, which was passed by the lower house on Thursday night.

Mrs Tuckerman said she consulted with her constituents before the vote.

"The complex views raised by constituents made my deliberations on this matter difficult," Mrs Tuckerman said.

"I understand that any decision I make will not sit well with some people in my electorate.

"I have given the Bill considerable thought, leaning on my life and career experiences, and most importantly I have listened to the people I represent to inform my vote."

Mrs Tuckerman said her opposition was based on the legal framework of the bill, rather than "whether terminating pregnancies is right or wrong".

"Common law currently exists that allow pregnancy termination under certain provisos. This Bill reaches beyond what is currently occurring in this state," she said.

"The majority of constituents have objected to this Bill and whilst I am a pro-choice advocate, I too have residual concerns around the way this legislation has been framed for late term abortions and indeed, the short time in which I have had to consult the wider community and my fellow parliamentarians about the framework."

Mrs Tuckerman said she had concerns that the Bill "allows abortions to occur very late in pregnancy and in circumstances without a medical need or the provisos that currently exists".

"Whilst I supported a number of the amendments put forward, I am still not entirely satisfied that the Bill addresses all the concerns that have been raised.

"This was the parliaments opportunity to ensure that the legislation around decriminalising pregnancy termination would provide the appropriate support and care for the society it is intended for.

"I voted no because I want to ensure the framework on this important matter is both clear and concise and protects the people who are unable to protect themselves.

"Since this Bill fails in these critical areas, I could not in good conscience support the Bill."

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 was passed following three days of debate and several amendments and it will now face further hurdles as it goes to the upper house for consideration.

MPs in the lower house voted in favour of the bill 59 to 31, with many cheering and clapping after the bill was passed.

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