The NSW upper house has found the "right balance" in changes to a bill to decriminalise abortion, according to Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang.
During the third late-night debate in a row, the upper house on Thursday carried an amendment that would require doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion to refer their patient to NSW Health.
The proposed law had previously required doctors to refer a patient directly to another practitioner who would not object.
Mr Fang, who voted for the amendment put forward by fellow Nationals MLC Niall Blair, said the compromise would protect rural doctors while preserving access to services.
"It does strike the right balance. We know that there concerns and we have acknowledged those concerns," Mr Fang said.
"As the same time, we have to make sure that those rural and regional communities that may only have one or two doctors...that the religious choice of the doctor does not interfere with a woman getting proper healthcare."
A motion was put up by One Nation MLC Mark Latham that would allow medical practitioners to refuse to perform, assist in or otherwise facilitate and abortion without breathing their duty of care.
Mr Latham had previously told Parliament that requiring rural doctors to refer all patients seeking an abortion would leave them facing a backlash.
Mr Latham's motion was defeated, with some of its supporters later voting for Mr Blair's amendment.
Independent Wagga MP Joe McGirr, who had sought a similar amendment during a lower house debate on the bill, said the Mr Blair's changes were an "improvement".
"I was obviously disappointed that the amendment that I had put, and the amendment that Mark Latham had argued strongly for, did not get up," Dr McGirr said.
"But I think the amendment that did get up, that was put up by Niall Blair, is an improvement on the situation we had.
"I will certainly be supporting that; I think it strengthens the bill and I think the other amendments that have got up have also strengthened the bill."
Due to the changes made to the abortion decriminalisation bill in the upper house, it will have to return to the lower house for another vote that could occur next week.
Reproductive Rights Rural NSW Riverina spokeswoman Caitlin Langley said the amendment was reasonable.
"I think that Niall Blair's amendment was fair. At the end of the day, you have to compromise on the things you think are reasonable even though the bill as it stood was fair," she said.