The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill and that they can now discuss it in more detail.

This division was a conscience vote, meaning that senators were not required to vote along party lines.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 in order to transfer the responsibility for regulatory approval of RU486 from the Minister for Health and Ageing to the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This will make it possible to evaluate, register, list or import abortifacients such as RU486 (i.e. medicines intended to induce an abortion) for use in Australia without the approval of the Minister.(Read more about the bill in its bills digest (342 KB). More information, including its explanatory memorandum, is available here.)

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Democrats (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Lyn Allison Victoria Yes
Andrew Bartlett Queensland Yes
Andrew Murray WA Yes
Natasha Stott Despoja SA Yes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Bob Brown Tasmania Yes
Christine Milne Tasmania Yes
Kerry Nettle NSW Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Australian Labor Party (93% turnout) 21 Yes 4 No
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
George Campbell NSW Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Trish Crossin NT Yes
Chris Evans WA Yes
John Faulkner NSW Yes
Annette Hurley SA Yes
Linda Kirk SA Yes
Joe Ludwig Queensland Yes
Kate Lundy ACT Yes
Gavin Marshall Victoria Yes
Anne McEwen SA Yes
Jan McLucas Queensland Yes
Claire Moore Queensland Yes
Kerry O'Brien Tasmania Yes
Robert Ray Victoria Yes
Nick Sherry Tasmania Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Ruth Webber WA Yes
Penny Wong SA Yes
Dana Wortley SA Yes
Stephen Conroy Victoria No
Steve Hutchins NSW No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Ursula Stephens NSW No
Mark Bishop WA Absent
Michael Forshaw NSW Absent
Nigel Scullion NT Country Liberal Party Yes
John Hogg Queensland Deputy President No
Steve Fielding Victoria Family First Party No
Liberal Party (94% turnout) 14 Yes 16 No
Judith Adams WA Yes
Richard Colbeck Tasmania Yes
Helen Coonan NSW Yes
Jeannie Ferris SA Yes
Mitch Fifield Victoria Yes
Robert Hill SA Yes
David Johnston WA Yes
Ian Macdonald Queensland Yes
Kay Patterson Victoria Yes
Marise Payne NSW Yes
Judith Troeth Victoria Yes
Russell Trood Queensland Yes
Amanda Vanstone SA Yes
John Watson Tasmania Yes
Eric Abetz Tasmania No
Guy Barnett Tasmania No
George Brandis Queensland No
Grant Chapman SA No
Alan Eggleston WA No
Chris Ellison WA No
Alan Ferguson SA No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Bill Heffernan NSW No
Gary Humphries ACT No
Ross Lightfoot WA No
Brett Mason Queensland No
Nick Minchin SA No
Stephen Parry Tasmania No
Michael Ronaldson Victoria No
Santo Santoro Queensland No
Ian Campbell WA Absent
Rod Kemp Victoria Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 1 Yes 3 No
Fiona Nash NSW Yes
Ron Boswell Queensland No
Barnaby Joyce Queensland No
Julian McGauran Victoria No
Sandy Macdonald NSW Absent
Paul Calvert Tasmania President No
Totals (93% turnout) 45 Yes – 26 No