Australian women are celebrating moves towards the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW, with one prominent feminist saying the move closes a 'dark era in our state'.
The private member's bill introduced by independent MP Alex Greenwich passed the NSW lower house late on Thursday night.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill removes abortion from the criminal code and allow for terminations up to 22 weeks. After 22 weeks, a woman could still access an abortion with the support of two doctors.
NSW is the last state in the country to instigate abortion reform, with the move touted as an overdue victory for women's reproductive rights.
Australian feminist writer Anne Summers said "thank you" to law makers and activists who supported the bill.
"To all who voted for this legislation. A dark era in our state is almost over," Summers tweeted.
Former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said she felt 'relieved' by the bill being passed.
"Having control and agency over our own bodies is at the heart of women’s human rights. Relieved that the NSW Lower House saw fit to pass the legislation. Support from all sides. Abortion is a health matter not a criminal one. Thank you," Broderick tweeted.
Earlier this week, the hashtag #ArrestUs trended on social media as the bill was debated, with Australian women sharing their own stories of how accessing safe abortion changed their lives.
A woman who tweets under the handle Kel Butler said getting an abortion saved her life.
"At 21 I fell pregnant to a man who was abusing me in horrible ways. There was no way I could subject a child to him. I had an abortion. It was a wake up call and within 6 months I got away from him. That abortion might have saved my life. No regrets," she tweeted.
Another woman Lani, spoke out about getting abortion in the wake of an abusive relationship.
"2014. 23 years old and with an emotionally & verbally abusive partner who left me to deal with it on my own. "Grateful to the Drs who helped me circumvent the illegality of abortion and to my friends who baked me a cake afterwards," she tweeted.