Fred Nile
Fred Nile

It hasn't been a great year for the cause of abortion law liberalisation, with reform bills foundering in the two states where abortion remains on the books as a criminal offence.

First came Queensland, where a bill to remove it from the criminal code was put on the backburner in February after the Liberal National Party opposition resolved to vote against it, rather than allow a conscience vote as Labor was doing.

Then last week, the New South Wales Legislative Council voted down a Greens-sponsored bill that would have decriminalised abortion, compelled medical practitioners to refer patients elsewhere if they had a conscientious objection, and established exclusion zones around clinics to exclude protesters.