Wagga MP Joe McGirr has said he will vote against a bill to decriminalise abortion and has called for amendments to its terms.
Dr McGirr told Parliament on Wednesday afternoon that he would oppose the bill because it did not have provisions for "counselling" of women seeking an abortion and did not consider the "rights" of an unborn baby past 22 weeks gestation.
"I will not be supporting the bill and I will be seeking to introduce amendments," Dr McGirr said.
Dr McGirr also criticised Parliament for moving forward too quickly and he felt a "great disappointment regarding the lack of community consultation and opportunity for public comment in the debate".
The independent MP said he had been "inundated" with phone calls and emails, which started as soon as media reports emerged last weekend about the pending legislation.
Dr McGirr said he had taken on board the messages from individual constituents and groups, along with his own experience in the medical field.
"These concerns have convinced me to oppose the bill. I do not do so lightly, but it is the decision I have made," he said.
"I do not accept that the legislation will improve access to termination services. I do not accept that it will make things safer for women.
"I am concerned that the bill undermines the rights of potential humans and impacts on religious freedom."
Wagga spokesperson for Reproductive Rights Rural NSW Caitlin Langley said the legislation was needed for NSW to "enter the 21st Century".
"I'm very disappointed that, as a doctor, (Dr McGirr) would not see the need for these services," she said.
"The people who are opposing this bill obviously have a religious motivated stigma that is enforcing this attitude of restricting women's ability to choose," she said.
Ms Langley said Dr McGirr's criticism of allowing abortion on request until 22 weeks' gestation and later term abortion with medical approval was a "moot point".
"Most abortions take place before 16 weeks and the instances in which terminations are occurring up to 22 weeks are generally because there are foetal abnormalities, serious concerns for the mother or, unfortunately, the foetus is deceased," she said.
Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang has said he would support the bill and has called for the Riverina to establish its own reproductive health clinic.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Mr Fang said he was "disappointed" that Dr McGirr "hasn't listened to the Wagga Wagga electorate".
"When he was first elected, Joe campaigned with the tagline 'Let's make this seat count'. Today, he ensured the seat of Wagga Wagga didn't count," Mr Fang said.
"The voices of the thousands of woman and men in the seat, who want people to be able to access safe and legal reproductive health procedures, have not been heard.
When you take the oath as an elected member, your community expects you to put your personal opinions aside and vote for what is in the best interests of those you represent.
"They do not expect your own interests will cloud your representation. The only thing an independent member can do, is be the voice of the people to the Parliament. Today, the Wagga electorate wasn't represented by Dr McGirr."
In Parliament, Dr McGirr said he was also concerned that doctors would not have the "religious freedom and conscientious objection" in their requirement to refer women to other practitioners for an abortion.
"As a health practitioner of 30 years I have watched my health colleagues make great advances in the saving of neonatal life. When I first became a doctor it was unusual for a baby born at 28 weeks to survive," Dr McGirr said.
"Now we have a quite reasonable expectation that those born at 24 weeks or younger will survive. It is likely that advances in technology will reduce that age further.
"Doctors and nurses in our health system and parents strive to save those lives. As a society we expend great resources on it, and so we should.
"Therefore, it makes no sense to me that a baby at 22 weeks should not be considered to have rights."