According to ABC News, the delay came as Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and a number of religious leaders wrote to Premier Gladys Berejiklian asking for an "urgent intervention" so more time is permitted for a "proper consultation".
The ABC understands a number of Liberal MPs are strongly opposed to the legislation, while others claim they haven't had enough time to look at the bill. It will now be introduced tomorrow (1 August) and debated next week.
About half a dozen Liberal MPs expressed anger and disappointment about the process and the lack of time given to consult with their constituents.
Under the proposed law, abortion will be legalised on request for women up to 22 weeks pregnant if a registered doctor performs the procedure. In instances beyond 22 weeks’ gestation, abortion can be legally conducted with the consent of two doctors.
In a statement, Archbishop Fisher said it was the "dream bill of the abortion industry".
“New attempts to make abortion even more widely available in NSW are deeply troubling,” Archbishop Fisher said. “The measure of a society is how it protects its most vulnerable, be they unborn children, their mothers who are too often pressured emotionally, financially and even physically to choose against the life of their child, or the sick and frail elderly.
“Rather than pursuing laws that will lead to more abortions, we should instead be investing in ways to support pregnant women who feel they have no other choice.
“I urge all Catholics to rally against this proposed law and, at the same time, recommit ourselves to reaching out with prayer and practical support for women in crisis.”
Archbishop Fisher is encouraging all Catholics to immediately contact their local state MP, urging them to vote against it.
“We must tell our elected MPs that if they are serious about wanting to protect human life they must reject this bill,” he said.
Newcastle’s abortion debate
Calls to remove an anti-abortion billboard on the Pacific Highway at Lake Macquarie have sparked recent debates in Newcastle about abortion.
The billboard, which features an image of a pregnant woman’s stomach along with the words “a heart beats at four weeks”, is linked to pro-life group Emily’s Voice.
The advertisement had already been removed from buses in Newcastle after Transport Minister Andrew Constance said he was “appalled” by it.
Wendy Francis from the Australian Christian Lobby told 2GB 873 she would like to speak to Mr Constance about why it is such a big deal.
“What is it about a pregnant tummy and a statement like that, that is so appalling?” Ms Francis said.
“Women are mature enough to have this conversation. We want to start the conversation so women will know true options.
“There is nothing offensive in this ad. There is nothing appalling about this ad. It is an important conversation starter. What is so politically incorrect about speaking truth these days?”