ALRANZ Welcomes New Poll Results

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa welcomes the results of the Newshub/Reid Research poll showing 69.9% of New Zealanders support the decriminalisation of abortion.

“The results show New Zealand continues its trend of greater support for abortion care as people learn more about it,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“It is particularly encouraging that 36.7% support Model A. Model A treats abortion care just like any other kind of health care. You don’t have to show other kinds of health care are appropriate, because doctors do not make them available if they are not appropriate. Abortion would be treated the same.

“That 43.2% support Model B, in which pregnant people need the approval of a doctor to access abortion care, is another artefact of abortion stigma. Treating abortion as a special case is degrading to pregnant people who have to seek approval to make decisions about their own body, and expensive to the health system.

“Women and pregnant people make life-altering decisions every day, like deciding to get married, emigrate, change jobs, or get divorced, without the approval of some random authority figure. Deciding to receive abortion care is no different.”

It has been suggested the NZ First party has slowed the progress of a proposed abortion law reform bill through Cabinet. ALRANZ supporters demonstrated their disapproval at Parliament yesterday, wearing Handmaids’ costumes and carrying a sign that read ‘NZ First – Women Last’.

“NZ First needs to realise that forty years is too long to wait for law reform. If they are obstructing the process, they need to stop,” said Bellamak.

“Even NZ First supporters want abortion law reform. ALRANZ trusts women and pregnant people to decide for themselves whether to receive abortion care. If NZ First does not trust women with their own bodily autonomy, they need to explain why.”

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion care. 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. 

ALRANZ Announces New Effort to Combat Abortion Stigma

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa announced a new effort to combat abortion stigma by creating a forum for people to share stories about their abortions anonymously.

The stories will appear on a new Facebook page, Abort The Stigma, and on Instagram at @abortthestigma.

“Abortion stigma is the projection of negative attributes on someone who has received abortion care, as an excuse for treating them badly,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“It’s how anti-abortion groups justify targeting people for harassment outside abortion services when they are trying to access health care.

“One in four people who can get pregnant in New Zealand receive abortion care. Pretty much everyone knows someone who has accessed care. But people are very careful about whom they tell about their abortions. That is abortion stigma, too. If someone thinks they don’t know anyone who has received abortion care, they should ask themselves why someone might think they were not a safe person to tell.

“The page is a kind of homage to In Her Shoes – Women of the Eighth. It works the same way.”

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion care. 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 receive abortion care on request.

Republic of Ireland Makes Abortion Available With Waiting Period

ALRANZ congratulates the Republic of Ireland on making abortion available to women and pregnant people legally in their own country.

“Pregnant people can now start the process to access abortion in Ireland,” said Terry Bellamak, National president of ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa.

“It marks a huge step forward for the people of Ireland, one we could scarcely have foreseen back in 2012, when Savita Halappanavar died from being denied a necessary abortion in Galway.

“But someone who starts the process today will not be able to get an abortion for three days, because of the waiting period. 

“Activists in Ireland have said the three-day waiting period was a sop to the anti-choice side, because there is no medical justification for it. That sounds right, and it’s hard to see what it has accomplished, except to make abortion more difficult to access, and to increase the chances of someone running out of time.

“The New Zealand Law Commission’s report has rubbished the idea of waiting periods here. It seems like a non-issue in New Zealand, but the experience in Ireland shows we need to make sure it stays that way.”

The three-day waiting period has been criticised as “demeaning” because it “makes presumptions about women’s ability to make decisions about their own healthcare”.

Research in 2016 in the USA found a higher level of decisional certainty for people choosing abortion than for those choosing other medical procedures.

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion care. 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 care on request.

ALRANZ Takes Case to Human Rights Review Tribunal

ALRANZ announced the Office of Human Rights Proceedings (OHRP) has decided to provide ALRANZ with representation before the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT).

Last year, ALRANZ and five individuals complained to the Human Rights Commission that New Zealand’s abortion laws discriminate against women and pregnant people. The complaint was not settled, and will go before the HRRT in due course.

“We welcome the OHRP Director’s decision to provide ALRANZ with representation before the HRRT. We feel this highlights the unfairness of New Zealand’s current abortion laws toward women and pregnant people,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“Women have the inherent right to make decisions about their own health, and their own bodies, but current law does not recognise this right.

“Women and pregnant people face discrimination in receiving safe and routine abortion care. No one else has to lie about their mental health status, or have their reasons judged against a section of the Crimes Act in order to access health care. No one else needs the approval of two random certifying consultants to get care. No one else has their access to health care obstructed by providers who want to judge their morals.

“We look forward to presenting our case.”

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion care. 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 care on request.

Reproductive Rights March on Wednesday

On Wednesday, 5 December at 12:30pm ALRANZ is co-sponsoring a march and rally in Wellington along with Organise Aotearoa, the Victoria University Feminist Organisation, and the Feminist Law Society.

Speakers will include MPs, former MPs, and activists.

“The Law Commission’s report to the Ministry of Justice on abortion law reform highlights the inadequacies and injustices of our current system. Current law discriminates against women and pregnant people by forcing them to seek the approval of two certifying consultants and lie about their mental health status in order to receive abortion care,” said Terry Bellamak, National president of ALRANZ.

“After forty years, it’s long past time for reform.”

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion. 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.

ASC Links Housing Shortage and Abortion Rate

Today the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) told the Justice Select Committee abortions increased among Aucklanders aged 25 – 35, possibly because of the rising cost of living, especially housing costs.

“Data from overseas has shown that the inability to support a child is one of the most common reasons for receiving abortion care. It makes sense that economic instability would drive abortion rates in New Zealand too,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“Families want to give their child the best possible start in life, so it makes sense they would delay childbirth until they can do so, or limit their family size. That is the definition of acting responsibly, and families should be able to decide that for themselves.

“The ASC also noted that while uptake of long-acting reversible contraception has increased, funded options are ‘not the most user-friendly’. They noted the Jadelle implant was less popular because it was more difficult to remove.

“The health system should fund all contraceptive choices to provide the best possible option for the individual.”

The report shows 98% of abortion are still approved solely on the mental health ground or in combination with other grounds. The majority of people receiving abortion care are already parents at almost 60%.

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion. 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.