Abortions decriminalized in Sydney after 100-year ban
© Getty Images

New South Wales, Australia, has decriminalized abortions after the procedure was banned for a century in the nation’s most populous state, according to Reuters.

Under the previous legal framework, abortion was punishable by up to 10 years in prison.


The new law, passed by a voice vote in the state legislature in Sydney on Thursday, allows abortion procedures to be performed up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, after which two doctors must sign off on the procedure, according to Reuters.

The 22-week provision was a late addition introduced after the state’s ruling center-right government split on the measure, threatening both its passage and the leadership of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, according to Reuters.

The state’s previous laws only allowed the procedure in cases where doctors believed pregnancy threatened a woman’s health. The new law makes South Australia the only Australian state where abortion is a crime.

“Abortion has been decriminalised in NSW. Sorry it took so long,” independent legislator Alex Greenwich, a sponsor of the bill, tweeted after its passage.