Geraldton MP Lara Dalton has shared a personal story in Parliament about an abortion she had as a young woman as she confirmed her support for a legal overhaul to streamline access to terminations. The Abortion Bill 2023 will reform current laws, including decriminalising abortion, increasing the gestational cap for a procedure from 20 to 24 weeks, removing mandatory counselling and the need for a GP referral. MPs will be given a conscience vote on the Bill. In Parliament on Wednesday, Ms Dalton said the Bill was at the heart of women’s rights, and was an important step forward to accessible and compassionate healthcare, which she fully supported. “Safe and supported abortions should be accessible to all women in Western Australia without the fear of judgement, stigma or retribution. Access to this health care needs to be fair and equitable, no matter where they live in WA,” she said. Access to abortions in regional WA was raised by Ms Dalton, explaining the current laws requiring two medical practitioners to be seen before a termination can be performed is an obstacle for those living outside the city, which adds more stress to the experience. “In some regional areas, there is only one practicing GP who offers this health service, so the wait time can be weeks before being seen by a doctor,” she said. Ms Dalton revealed her own experience having a termination was difficult, which she had reflected on in the lead-up to the Bill. “I remember feeling sad. I remember feeling extremely disappointed in myself for getting myself into that situation. And I remember feeling scared,” she said. “But the other feeling I do very much remember is one of feeling certain. I knew I was not ready to have a baby, emotionally, financially, mentally.” Ms Dalton recalls the women she saw when looking around the clinic. “They came from all walks of life. Different ages, demographics, cultures, and backgrounds. We all sat in silence in that room with a shared understanding and care for each other,” she said. The MP said many years later she was “a proud mother” of a 26-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter. Ms Dalton championed the work of Geraldton service provider Desert Blue Connect, expressing her gratitude for the centre that offers women’s wellness services at low or no cost. “The centre staff, and as do I, believe that women are the experts in their own lives and are the people best placed to make a decision about whether or not to continue with a pregnancy,” she said. Ms Dalton told the Geraldton Guardian she deliberated on whether to share her story publicly for quite some time, but was glad she did. “I believe as someone who represents people, it’s OK to show we are human, and vulnerable too, and we have had human experiences and challenges like everyone else,” she said. WA Liberal Party Leader Libby Mettam also this week confirmed she would be voting in favour of the abortion law reforms.