ALRANZ welcomes the announcement this afternoon of a Labour-led coalition forming the next government. During the campaign, Labour leader, now Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern pledged to decriminalise abortion in New Zealand, saying pregnant people should have access to abortion as a matter of right.
ALRANZ National President Terry Bellamak said abortion law reform has been a long time coming.
“Pregnant people in New Zealand have suffered under our ridiculous abortion bureaucracy for too long. After forty years of scrambling to get the approval of certifying consultants, and being forced to lie about the fragility of their mental health so they can access the medical care they need, finally Kiwis can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Abortion is a safe medical procedure that one in four Kiwi women access at some point in their reproductive lives. Abortion is health care. It has never belonged in the Crimes Act. We look forward to the coming discussion on reforming the law.
“It is vital Parliament carries out the task of abortion law reform in a manner that is evidence-based and patient-focused.”
Under New Zealand’s abortion laws, two certifying consultants must approve every abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act. Those grounds do not include rape, nor the most common reasons cited overseas: contraception failure and the inability to support a child.
Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion on request.