Tensions within the Liberal Party over the abortion debate currently underway in South Australia’s Parliament have played out on social media.

Key points:

  • The proposed legislation is currently being debated in SA Parliament
  • Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink called on her colleagues to show “compassion and respect”
  • MP Nicolle Flint fired back, accusing Ms Lensink of being patronising

Debate in the Lower House over legislation — that aims to shift abortion out of the criminal code — continued until midnight on Wednesday night.

The Termination of Pregnancy Bill aims to shift abortion out of the criminal code and into healthcare legislation.

Under the proposal, late-term abortions — defined as after 22 weeks and six days — would be lawful in certain circumstances.

The bill was introduced last year by Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink, who is a member of the state Liberal’s moderate faction.

Ms Lensink took to social media during the debate to address her fellow MPs.

“To all of my parliamentary colleagues involved in tonight’s debate on this ground-breaking bill,” she posted on Twitter.

“South Australians want you to demonstrate compassion and respect.”

Federal Liberal Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint replied, accusing Ms Lensink of being patronising.

“I have dedicated my time in Federal Parliament to trying to SAVE the lives of unborn babies.

“How dare you be so patronising to those who wish to do the same.”

The legislation aims to shift abortion out of the criminal code.(iStockPhoto/Brian A Jackson)

Ms Flint is a part of the Liberal Party’s conservative faction.

Amendments introduced on Wednesday require two doctors to determine that “the termination is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or save another foetus”, or that continuing with the pregnancy would cause “significant risk of injury to physical or mental health”.

The abortion could also be performed if the doctors’ found serious, or the risk of serious, foetal anomalies.

A final conscience vote on the bill could happen as early as today.