New Zealand’s parliament has passed a bill decriminalising abortion and allowing women to choose a termination up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
Voting to remove the procedure from the country’s Crimes Act changes a law that has been in force since 1977.
Previously, two doctors were required to approve an abortion – and this could only happen if there was a “serious danger” to the pregnant woman’s health.
The bill passed on its third reading by 68 votes to 51.
An earlier plan to put the issue to a public referendum was abandoned during the proceedings.
“From now abortions will be rightly treated as a health issue,” Justice Minister Andrew Little said in a statement following the vote on Wednesday.
“The previous law required a woman seeking an abortion to go through many hoops,” he said, adding: “The changes agreed to by parliament will better ensure women get advice and treatment in a more timely way.”