LOCAL MPs have rejected a bill making changes to abortion laws across the state.
The Infant Viability Bill was rejected by the Victorian Legislative Council on Wednesday by a vote of 27-11.
Both Ballarat based Western Victoria MPs Jaala Pulford and Joshua Morris voted against making any changes.
The new laws, proposed by Democratic Labour Party MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins, aimed to stop women getting an abortion after 24 weeks gestation and doctors would be jailed for up to five years if they conduct abortions at that stage of the cycle
Currently an abortion can be conducted after 24 weeks only with the approval of two separate doctors who agree it is in the best medical interests.
The Australian Medical Association's Victorian division was very strong in its opposition to any changes to the current laws as they stand.
Both Labor and the Coalition allowed a conscience vote on Wednesday for the matter.
Ms Pulford said she had voted for abortion to be decriminalised in 2008 and believed the changes did not attract major support in parliament. The 2008 bill was introduced after very lengthy debate. She also said the overwhelming majority of people also agreed with the laws as they currently stood.
“There were people who opposed the Abortion Law Reform Act in 2008, who this week opposed amendments to it,” she said. “I think we had a thorough process that led to the decriminalisation of abortion in 2008.”
Ms Pulford said that that robust debate created certainty and clarity for women and their doctors.
“I was in the parliament in 2008 and I supported the government in the bill and I was against the many many amendments that were put forth. I think the laws we have are very very good.”
Mr Morris said he received significant feedback on the matter from people both for and against the new bill.
“However, after having considered the bill itself I decided it was deeply flawed and as such as I could not support it,” he said.
Geelong based Western Victorian MP Simon Ramsay, who was formally based in Ballarat, also voted against the changes.
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