Two NSW Liberal MPs threaten move to crossbench over abortion laws

Liberal MP Tanya Davies is a vocal opponent of the Bill to decriminalise abortion. Source: AAP

Two NSW Liberal MPs say they're willing to move to the crossbench over the government's handling of abortion legislation.

The pressure is rising on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian after two Liberal MPs threatened to move to the NSW crossbench over her government's handling of abortion decriminalisation.

Tanya Davies, a vocal critic of the bill, told a public hearing on Monday that she and another MP had told the Premier they would "disconnect ourselves" from her government unless major changes are made. 

"There's one thing that politicians pay attention to, and that's numbers," Ms Davies told the St John's Anglican Cathedral Parramatta event.

Tanya Davies says she will "disconnect" from the government unless major changes are made to the abortion legislation.
Tanya Davies says she will "disconnect" from the government unless major changes are made to the abortion legislation.

"At the moment our government holds government by 50 plus two. I'm one of those two and there's another colleague of mine ... we have told the premier (Gladys Berejiklian) and deputy premier (John Barilaro) that if you do not make essential amendments to this bill, we will remove ourselves from the party room, disconnect ourselves from being bound by the leadership."

Should the Mulgoa MP and fellow bill critic Kevin Conolly move to the cross bench, the government would lose its majority.

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 allows terminations up to 22 weeks, as well as later abortions if two doctors considering all the circumstances agree the termination should occur.

The upper house is continuing to examine the draft legislation after its passage was last month delayed amid strong MP protest.

It had passed the lower house by 59 votes to 31.

The Liberal-National government currently holds 48 seats in the 93-seat Legislative Assembly.

Ms Davies has previously called for the bill to be set aside so a fresh bill could be reintroduced after several months of consultation.

Ms Berejiklian has faced pressure from critics such as Ms Davies, Mr Conolly, Christian Democrat Fred Nile and Shooters MP Robert Borsak on the way the bill was introduced and the time available for public consultation.

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