NT women will soon have easier access to abortion after legislation introduced by Health Minister Natasha Fyles passed unopposed last night.
The Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Amendment Bill allows women seeking a termination between 14 and 24 weeks gestation to only be examined by one doctor, bringing the NT in line with Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.
Previously, any woman who had been pregnant for more than 14 weeks had to be approved for termination by two doctors.
The new bill also allows for women to also have a termination after 24 weeks, but requires consultation from two doctors.
Ms Fyles said terminations between 14 and 24 weeks only accounted for about five per cent of abortions.
An emotional debate on the issue in the NT Legislative Assembly went well into Tuesday night before the legislation passed unanimously around 8.30pm.
Ms Fyles initially indicated a conscience vote would be allowed on the issue, but the bill passed unopposed when The Opposition failed to call a division on the floor.
"We have the opportunity to pass a bill that allows Territory women better access to healthcare. We trust our medical professionals every day," Mr Fyles said in her speech to parliament last night.
"This is not a debate about the moral rights or wrongs of abortion. That was decades ago in the 1960s and 1970s.
"Our role as legislators is to create an environment for others to make the decision for those Territory women and their clinical health professionals."
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