NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in London. Source: NSW Premier's Office
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in London. Source: NSW Premier's Office

Berejiklian moves on gender selection abortions

PREMIER Gladys Berejiklian has opened the door to a new amendment to the Crimes Act to make gender selection abortions illegal in New South Wales.

Debate has been raging about the legislation, which was due to be considered before the New South Wales upper house within weeks.

In a major shift, Ms Berejiklian has encouraged any politician who was concerned about the proposed legislation to put up an amendment.

She said that she wanted this to be a "black and white issue" that gender selection abortions were not allowed in New South Wales.

When pressed specifically whether that she supported gender selection abortions being included in the Crimes Act, Ms Berejiklian replied: "If that's what is required, absolutely."

"If the upper house want to look at that further, I'd be more than comfortable with that. If there were any members of the upper house who wanted to strengthen those provisions, I'd be completely comfortable with that."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: Anna Rogers
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: Anna Rogers

Ms Berejiklian said that gender selection abortions were abhorrent, however she added that they were not currently happening in NSW.

"Already we know that the chief obstetrician has said that it's not an issue in New South Wales, but if there is more we need to do to actually allay concerns in the community, of course we will," she said.

"Everybody in the community regards that as an abhorrent practice."

Ms Berejiklian added: "This is a black and white issue, the parliament of NSW, the people of NSW do not support gender selection when it comes to abortion."

The abortion debate has overshadowed Ms Berejiklian's trade mission to the UK and Germany.

She was in Sheffield yesterday where she signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Sheffield to build an advanced manufacturing training centre in Western Sydney.

The premier has also had meetings with UK international trade secretary Liz Truss inside No. 10 Downing St.

The meeting was a crucial edge over Victoria ahead of Britain's plans to leave the European Union on October 31, which could lead to an explosion of trade with Australia.

The trade mission will be in Germany on Wednesday.