24/10/2001 PIRATE: Ultrasound photo image of unborn infant fetus baby in womb at 18 weeks 23 Oct  2001.  foetus
 /Pregnancy
24/10/2001 PIRATE: Ultrasound photo image of unborn infant fetus baby in womb at 18 weeks 23 Oct 2001. foetus /Pregnancy

Abortion blindside a big vote changer

Almost a third of Coalition voters indicated in a new poll that they would have voted differently if they had known about the controversial bill to decriminalise abortion before the March election.

More than eight out of 10 people in NSW do not believe abortion should be allowed on the basis of gender, a YouGov Galaxy poll conducted over the weekend has revealed.

Almost 84 per cent of people who took part in the poll were against abortion based on the unborn baby's sex and another 7.5 per cent of respondents were undecided.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian flew back from London on Sunday to face an angry voter backlash for her decision to allow independent MP Alex Greenwich's bill to go ahead.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian returned from her overseas trip on Sunday. Picture: David Swift
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian returned from her overseas trip on Sunday. Picture: David Swift

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More than 27 per cent of Liberal voters and 32.7 per cent of National voters said they would have changed their vote if they had been aware of the legislation.

Independent MP Alex Greenwich's bill, which had the support of Health Minister Brad Hazzard, passed the lower house with 59 MPs in favour and 31 against on August 8. It will be debated in the upper house this week.

Ms Berejiklian has said she voted in favour of the bill "for the next generations" of NSW women to stop them being prosecuted for terminations.

New South Wales Independent MP Alex Greenwich. Picture: AAP/Dean Lewins
New South Wales Independent MP Alex Greenwich. Picture: AAP/Dean Lewins

The latest poll of more than 1000 people was conducted for the Australian Christian Lobby and also found that more than half the people questioned did not believe an abortion should take place after 22 weeks.

Kieren Jackson, NSW director of the Australian Christian Lobby, said: "This poll shows that MPs backing this bill are out of touch with their community's concerns around late term abortion, sex-selective abortions, and the care given to babies born alive.

"This radical abortion law is being rammed through without public support. The community, who have been excluded and ignored, reject this extreme bill," he said.

Another poll conducted by right to life group the Foundation for Human Development found that more than half the Coalition voters in five key National held electorates were less likely to vote for their MP in the next election.

Right to Life NSW chief executive officer Dr Rachel Carling said Coalition voters had been left out of the debate.

"This bill was not brought up at the NSW Nationals Conference at the end of June. It's no wonder that the voters are reacting as they are," she said.