DEBATED: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Labor MPs Jim Madden, Jennifer Howard and Jo-Ann Miller.
DEBATED: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Labor MPs Jim Madden, Jennifer Howard and Jo-Ann Miller. David Nielsen

How divided Ipswich MPs will vote in state's abortion debate

THE right of women to terminate their pregnancies will be debated and decided when the Queensland Parliament resumes next month.

Abortion could soon be removed from Queensland's criminal code after Labor introduced legislation to state parliament.

The laws would grant women access to legal abortion in addition to existing conditions that permit it if the pregnancy is a serious danger to the woman.

The Bill is expected to be debated during Parliament's first October sitting week.

Labor has offered a conscience vote on the Bill, meaning government MPs are free to vote how they please.

Ipswich's four MPs have revealed how they will act when the Bill is voted on in Parliament.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said she would vote in favour of the legislation to make abortion legal.

"I think it's been a long time coming," she said.

"I'm very respectful and mindful of the people who don't share my views though.

"I understand it is a very personal issue."

Ms Howard was unsure whether the Bill would pass.

"I hope it does pass because I don't want it to become something long and drawn out," she said.

"There's a lot of MPs struggling to balance their own views."

She said her office had heard from people who were opposed to the legislation.

"When I'm talking to people the vast majority of people are surprised it's illegal," she said.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller will vote against her government's plan to make abortion legal.

"I don't like and have never supported late abortion," Ms Miller said.

"That is my position."

She said constituents had contacted her opposing the Bill and she eagerly awaited the outcome of a parliamentary report into the Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

Ipswich West MP Jim Madden was "still considering my position".

"I've had briefings with different people about it and there have been some issues of concern to me," he said.

"I think it would be a tough decision for all members.

"It's something I've spent a lot of time considering.

"I'm in the group that aren't locked into supporting or opposing the legislation."

The free vote in parliament will be the first conscience vote for Mr Madden since he was elected.

He said there were a lot of emails from people opposed and in support of the Bill.

Jordan MP Charis Mullen will support the Bill.

"I appreciate that our community does have diverse and strongly held views on the issue of termination of pregnancy laws," she said.

"This is an issue I have taken some time to consider and have met with advocates from both sides of the debate, church groups, as well as legal and medical professionals to inform my views.

"I have always believed that a woman is best placed to make decisions about her own body in consultation with her doctor and that abortion should be legal, safe and rare.

"I also believe the Queensland Law Reform Commission has delivered a comprehensive review of termination of pregnancy laws in Queensland, taking into account 1200 submissions and this is reflected in the legislation before us," she said.



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