DEBATE: Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden wrestled with the Termination of Pregnancy Bill.
DEBATE: Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden wrestled with the Termination of Pregnancy Bill. Contributed

Sobbing Ipswich MP makes 'toughest parliamentary decision'

A STRUGGLE between religions and moral beliefs created the toughest decision of Jim Madden's parliamentary career this week.

After weeks of contemplation, the Member for Ipswich West voted in favour of Jackie Trad's Termination of Pregnancy.

"It's the first Bill that allowed me a conscience vote, which made it even more significant," Mr Madden said.

He voted for amendments, including reducing late-term abortions from 22 weeks to 16.

After that amendment failed Mr Madden supported the Bill.

"The key issue for me was at 22 or 21 weeks a baby is survivable if it is born prematurely," he said.

"It is a fully formed baby - liveable.

"I felt that 22 weeks was just a bit too far."

Mr Madden said he wrestled with the topic but said changes to the law needed to be made.

"I'm a lawyer, I believe in law reform," he said.

"The bulk of these laws relating to termination of pregnancies were made in the 1800s. We need laws for the 20th century."

He started sobbing when asked about the opposing views on the issue.

"One of the things that drives me is I never want to let my constituents down," he said. "I want to always be available and listen to my constituents."

Mr Madden said he supported some of the community's view by voting for the 16-week and conscientious objection amendments.

Safe zones will also be created around abortion clinics where female patients cannot be harassed.

Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller was the only Labor MP to vote against the Bill.

Mr Madden thanked colleagues and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for the quality of the debate.



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