LNP get conscience vote on Qld abortion

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington says she won't support laws to decriminalise abortion. (AAP)

Queensland's LNP Opposition has granted its MPs a conscience vote on laws to decriminalise abortion

Queensland's opposition MPs will be able to vote with their conscience on laws to decriminalise abortion.

The outcome of a party meeting on Tuesday gives a lifeline to the proposed legislation, with the government admitting it would be tough to pass if the LNP had decided to vote against it as a bloc.

Liberal National Party MPs met for two hours, eventually voting unanimously to allow a free vote on the issue, with the laws to be debated in parliament next month.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said matters about the beginning and end of life should be left up to the conscience of individual MPs, and confirmed she would not support the laws

"It has been a longstanding position of the LNP Party Room that matters about the creation or ending of life are treated as matters of conscience," she said.

"Personally, I have carefully considered the Bill and I am not of a conscience to support it."

Earlier on Tuesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the issue was important and all MPs should be free to vote according to their conscience.

"It's going to be very tough and it's going to come down to the wire I think," the premier said.

"We just don't know yet what everyone's thinking is in relation to this bill."

Ms Palaszczuk suggested the issue was a key test for Ms Frecklington.

"As a female leader myself I believe this is such a crucial issue for so many people across our state that a conscience vote should be granted," she said.

The proposed bill would take abortion out of the criminal code and make it a health issue, allowing women to terminate pregnancies up to 22 weeks' gestation.

The laws will be debated in parliament next week and if passed would also enforce safe zones around clinics and medical facilities offering the procedure to stop staff and patients being harassed by anti-abortion activists.

Source AAP

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