Liston-- In a dramatic vote, the National Assembly today passed L-209 in its seconding reading, handing a defeat to the Krembs government and highlighting the fractures of the ruling Free Democrats over abortion.
The bill, which would essentially make legal unresticted abortion, was approved by a vote of 279-268. Leftist opposition parties voted overwhelmingly for the bill, and secured approval when 108 Free Democrats crossed the aisle with "aye" votes.
What happens next remains unclear. If the Free Democrats expel from their caucus those members who voted against the Government, they would immediately lose their already slim majority and the President would have to dissolve the National Assembly. On the other hand, a coalition of opposition parties could introduce a confidence motion and bring down the Government nonetheless and probably secure support from the Free Democrats who crossed the floor on the recent vote in the process.
The final vote tally, by party--
Free Democrats: Aye (108), Nay (168)
Socialist Party: Aye (135), Nay (6)
Radical Party: Aye (2), Nay (57)
Workers Revolutionary Party: Aye (32), Nay (0)
Cruistian Democrats: Aye (0), Nay (18)
Conservative Nationalists: Aye (0), Nay (6)
Party of Moun: Aye (0), Nay (4)
Independents: Aye (2), Nay (9)