An anti-abortion rally takes a stand against law reform. Picture: Annette Dew
An anti-abortion rally takes a stand against law reform. Picture: Annette Dew

Senators fire up in tense abortion debate

A NATIONALS senator has been branded a disgrace for a controversial push to condemn the Queensland government's proposed abortion laws.

Queensland senator Barry O'Sullivan sparked a tense debate in parliament on Monday over changes to his state's abortion laws.

Under the state government's move to decriminalise abortion in Queensland, women would be able to ask to terminate pregnancies up to 22 weeks.

Independent Derryn Hinch branded Senator O'Sullivan a "disgrace" for moving a "grotesque" motion condemning the proposal.

Do you support the state government to decriminalise abortion in Queensland

This poll ended on 22 August 2018.

Current Results

Yes, I support the reforms in their entirety.


No, I believe the law should stay the same.


I think abortion should be legal but I do not support late term termination.




This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"To see a middle-aged white man in old-fashioned braces with equally old-fashioned ideas lecturing women on what they should or shouldn't do with their bodies is disgraceful and insulting to all women," Senator Hinch told parliament.

Senator O'Sullivan said the Queensland government's laws would legalise "abhorrent" late-term abortions.

"That's a partial birth of a child before instruments are applied to its cranium and its crushed a minute or so from birth," he said.

Barry O'Sullivan on the offensive in the Senate
Barry O'Sullivan on the offensive in the Senate

Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi said abortions were being carried out because parents were unhappy with the gender of unborn children.

"It is murder of an unborn baby that could exist outside of the womb. It shouldn't be done on the selfish demands of an individual involved," Senator Bernardi said.

Greens senator Janet Rice said no woman took the decision to have an abortion lightly, backing Labor's efforts to block Senator O'Sullivan's move.

"The sorts of awful offensive garbage that has just been expressed in this chamber talking about women as if they are murderers is absolutely appalling," the Victorian senator said.

The motion wasn't voted on, with Labor and Greens senators teaming up to sink it before it progressed any further.