The lower house of the Western Australian parliament has ended weeks of protracted debate by passing a liberal abortion bill.

The legislation still needs upper house approval before becoming law.

However, even if the legislation is enacted, criminal sanctions will remain against doctors who perform illegal abortions – much to the chagrin of pro-abortion Labor MP Cheryl Davenport, who put forth the bill.

Her proposal had called for abortion regulation to be transferred to the Health Act. The current law, which is widely flouted, allows abortions only when it is claimed the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life.

Amendments ensured that criminal code sanctions will remain in place.

“There’s certainly been a hard lesson learned in the unfortunate outcome in Western Australia,” remarked Right to Life Australia chair Margaret Tighe. “The speed with which the pro-aborts managed to turn the tables on unborn children, courtesy of the Western Australian parliament, is unbelievable.”

Tighe noted both Davenport’s bill and one put forth by the government, were debated in record time. “Special condemnation is reserved for the media for running so much pro-abortion propaganda … as well as for certain members of Perth’s medical profession,” she added. “I think pro-life people in Western Australia are still in shock. They can’t believe it and neither can I.”

Dr. Harry Cohen, described in the mainstream Australian press as a “leading” gynecologist, said he and the Australian Medical Association “could live” with the new legislation and would consider ending a state-wide boycott of abortion “services” that they had put in place recently because of political uncertainty over the abortion law.

“I think, basically, the outcome has been satisfactory,” said Cohen.

“I would like to see (abortion) out of the criminal code, but I can understand the sort of concerns MPs have and I think we can live with it.”