(LIFE NEWS) – A New Zealand bill that would allow unborn babies to be aborted up to birth passed a first vote in parliament Thursday despite strong public opposition.
According to 1 News Now, the pro-abortion bill passed its first reading in a 94-23 vote after a heated debate.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is pushing for the legislation, said "women's dignity and rights" are at stake.
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"Who am I, who is this House, to determine anyone else's reproductive rights?" Ardern said.
The new proposal would expand abortions in New Zealand, making the country one of the most pro-abortion in the world. Though abortions technically are still listed in the criminal code, they are widely available as long as a woman receives the permission of two doctors after a counseling session, according to the BBC.