Protesters unhappy with the decision by Joe McGirr not to back a bill to decriminalise abortion have demonstrated outside the Wagga MP's office.
About 30 people, many carrying placards, gathered outside the Baylis Street office on Thursday, as MPs debated a raft of proposed amendments to the bill.
On Wednesday, Dr McGirr addressed the Legislative Assembly and said he was "concerned that the bill undermines the rights of potential humans and impacts on religious freedom".
Jan Roberts told the protest that in not supporting the bill, Dr McGirr "continues to victimise and shame women".
"This is not why I voted for him. I did not vote for him to be a Catholic protector of my morality. I voted for him to be an independent person who listened to the electorate," she said.
Vanessa Keenan called on Dr McGirr to "support and to recognise that there are voices here that say we should be decriminalising abortion in NSW".
Several men protested and one of them, Keith Roberts, said that as a male he had "no right to make decisions on behalf of anybody in relation to this argument".
"As far as I'm concerned, this is a women's issue, it's a health issue and it's just the hide of men to say because they're in a position of power, they should be the ones to make a decision about women's rights and women's bodies," Mr Roberts said.
Protester Andreia Velander told The Daily Advertiser she believed there had been a lack of community consultation from Dr McGirr and that he was "using his own personal beliefs to make a decision on behalf of the community".
Ms Velander said the bill was important because "at the moment, women's bodies are controlled by 120-year-old legislation".
"It's a medical procedure that shouldn't be in the criminal code. it needs to be removed," she said.
"For a doctor to actually vote against having a medical procedure is just unfathomable.
"Everybody is saying they are disappointed he has chosen to make a decision based on his beliefs, not on what we wanted.
"He's not there as a Catholic. He's there to represent our views."
Dr McGirr's view was supported by at least one bystander, who told the assembled group she had undergone a termination and later regretted it.
Speaking to The Daily Advertiser, Dr McGirr said he did understand how people felt on this issue.
"I have had hundreds of people contact me from the electorate and from outside the electorate from both sides of this debate," he said.
"I've listened to the speeches in the House and I've seen the protesters out the front here and I think I've got a very strong sense also from my background in the profession about how strongly people feel about this issue."
Dr McGirr's decision to oppose the bill before parliament to decriminalise abortion in NSW has also prompted a torrent of reader reaction on The Daily Advertiser's Facebook page. Here is a selection of comments:
Why do men continually think it is their god-given right to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies. I thought you were a bit more progressive Joe? - Wick Lloyd
Abortion is not about the woman's body! It is about the person whose life is being decided upon - the person who has no voice. All politicians have the right to "their" conscience vote on this legislation. - Jennifer Rava
I think if men could fall pregnant, this would have been passed years ago, sad but true. - Scott Wheatley
Coming from a doctor, that's very disappointing and disturbing to say the least. - Daz Wood
Thank you for supporting life in this instance Dr Joe. - Angela McEncroe
He has my vote and many others. - Annette Howard
Very, very sad and disappointing. Who was he actually representing? - Julie Elphick
How does it infringe on the rights of religious groups? Don't want an abortion, don't get one, simple! Why should the "rights" of the religious mean that others lose the right to a medical procedure that for many reasons may be required for their health or welfare? - Em Wilson
How ridiculous. A medical procedure should only be the business of the patient and doctor. No one else should get any input. - Paige Evans
Is this what the people want or what Dr Joe wants? - Sarah Dawson
Well done Dr Joe McGirr! No person has the right to end another person's life! There are plenty of people who cannot have children, who long for a child and would lovingly adopt a beautiful little baby. - Margaret Plane
Is it possible to take my vote back? Because if it is, I do. - Brett Page
Why not let the pregnant woman decide what's right for her? - Gary Boyd
I get that Dr Joe has taken the Hippocratic Oath, but he is also the elected representative and must represent the views of the electorate whether he agrees with it or not. - Matty Hayes
Great job! This proposed legislation fails the humanity standard in so many areas. - Michael Casanova
Can we go back to being a safe seat again? At least when the Nationals were in we knew they were voting based on their voter-base's right leaning views and not personal beliefs. This is just political self-serving. - Steven John
Has he taken any community consultation on this - or just his own views? - Laurie Byron
Massive thumbs up to all the men on here supporting women's rights! So powerful! - Kristie Furner