The independent Sydney MP behind the bill to decriminalise abortion in NSW has apologised to women for taking so long to make the change.
Alex Greenwich presented the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 to the lower house on Thursday morning.
"I am sorry it has taken so long to achieve this reform," he told parliament.
"Let's not delay any more. Now is the time for the parliament to come together to ensure women and their doctors are appropriately protected under the law."
The private member's bill, which has 15 co-sponsors from across the political divide, allows for terminations up to 22 weeks and later if two doctors "consider that, in all the circumstances, the termination should be performed".
It's believed to have wide cross-party support but there are some vocal opponents, including church groups.
Mr Greenwich said the bill was 119 years overdue, with women and doctors operating under an "out of date law".
The law criminalising abortion hasn't changed since 1900 - a time when women couldn't vote and there were no women in NSW parliament.
"Now, not only can women vote and stand for office, our state has a female premier, a female leader of the opposition and a female governor," he said.
"Women have fought long and hard for this reform, over many, many decades."
Mr Greenwich said the bill recognises the best outcomes in women's reproductive health care are achieved when abortion is treated as a health matter rather than a criminal one.
The draft law was designed in consultation with the Australian Medical Association, which says it will ensure access to appropriate care for women.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian backs the bill and said there has been a "strength of feeling" across the political landscape on the issue.
"For some people it's an extremely deeply emotional issue," Ms Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
"What is important to me is for every colleague to have the opportunity ... to express their views frankly and honestly and I know that for many people like myself, this isn't an easy issue to come to terms with."
Before the bill was presented, about 200 people picketed outside NSW Parliament at an anti-abortion Rally for Life.
Many held signs saying "pregnant women need support not abortion" and "we love life on both sides of the womb".
Liberal MP Nathaniel Smith said he was disgusted at how the bill was "rammed" through parliament.
"This will not protect women, this should not be going into the Health Care Act, it should remain in the Crimes Act," he told the rally.
Finance Minister Damien Tudehope earlier on Thursday attacked the bill as unjust in an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald.
The bill also came under fire from former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce who used his baby son to criticise the NSW proposal.
"Long before he was born ... Tom had rights even though he was not conscious of them - they should not be removed by a parliament," he told the lower house in Canberra.
"The hour of birth is an arbitrary point in modern medicine."
The draft legislation gives doctors the right to conscientiously object to performing abortions, but they must refer patients to another health practitioner who can provide the service.
It's supported by the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association which labelled the state's current law unjust and against women's reproductive rights.
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights said the bill, if passed, will remove the "archaic" criminal penalties for abortion currently in place in NSW.
The bill was originally scheduled to be debated this week but conservative MPs worked behind the scenes to delay debate until next Tuesday.
Australian Associated Press