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Tas abortion bid to test government unity

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A move to give women in Tasmania access to abortions in public hospitals is likely to be decided by the vote of rogue Speaker Sue Hickey.

The state's Labor opposition plans on Wednesday to move a motion calling on the Liberal government to provide access to public-system abortions by July 1.

They've been backed by the Greens, meaning the casting vote will in all likelihood fall to Ms Hickey.

Last month Ms Hickey blindsided her Liberal colleagues when she voted with Labor and the Greens to make herself Speaker of the state's lower house.

The Liberals were re-elected in March with 13 House of Assembly seats, to Labor's 10 and the Greens two.

If Labor and the Greens vote together, Ms Hickey's vote is crucial in passing legislation.

She's promised confidence in the government but has also said she plans to consider bills on their merits.

Abortion was a key election issue after Tasmania's only dedicated surgical abortion clinic in Hobart closed several months ago.

The Liberals ruled out funding surgical abortions through the state's health system during the campaign and have offered assistance for women to travel to the mainland for abortions.

"We have an opportunity as a parliament to provide better access for Tasmanian women and that's why we'll be moving this motion for debate," Opposition Leader Rebecca White said on Tuesday in parliament.

© AAP 2018

Image: Liberal candidate Sue Hickey (AAP Image/Rob Blakers)