LNP MPs cautioned on abortion vote
QUEENSLAND'S LNP MPs have been warned they could be putting their political future with the party at risk if they support Labor's abortion decriminalisation Bill.
News Queensland can reveal LNP president Gary Spence spoke with MPs about the looming debate on the Bill during a party room meeting last month.
It isunderstood Mr Spence did not specifically tell MPs how they should vote but he did say they could be putting themselves at risk of having their preselection to run again at the October 2020 State Election overturned by the LNP's powerful State Council.
The MPs may have the support of their local branch members but the LNP's rules state that State Council "shall have the right to endorse or refuse to endorse any applicant selected by a selection committee, after consultation with the Federal Divisional Council or State Electorate Council concerned".
It is understood Mr Spence reminded MPs of the fallout former federal MPs Wyatt Roy and Ewen Jones faced after they threatened to cross the floor to support a same-sex marriage Bill in 2015, in defiance of then prime minister Tony Abbott.
Several members of the State Council were lining up to reject the recommendation to re-endorse them ahead of the 2016 Federal Election.
But Mr Spence moved to save the pair.
He warned MPs the same may not happen this time with many on the State Council more opposed to abortion decriminalisation, in particular "late-term abortion", than they were to same-sex marriage.
The LNP's party policy is for abortion law to remain as it is but MPs are by convention allowed a conscience vote on matters of life and death.
The LNP party room is yet to vote on whether it will have a conscience vote on the Bill.
The Palaszczuk Government's Bill will decriminalise abortion and allow women to procure one on request up to 22 weeks.
After 22 weeks their doctor must consult with a second physician before approval is given.
Labor MPs will have a conscience vote meaning the Government will likely need the support of crossbench MPs and potentially Opposition MPs to pass the reforms on the floor of State Parliament when it comes to a vote next month.
Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman last week said it was critical for the Bill's success that all MPs were afforded a conscience vote, describing the current numbers as "tight".
It comes as the Parliamentary Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee this week holds a series of public hearings on the Bill.
It will report back to Parliament on October 5.