ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa sadly welcomes the results of Family Planning’s survey of contraception users, which shows 5% experience health practitioners obstructing their access to contraception.
“It’s maddening that in 2020 people still have to deal with the judgmental attitudes of some busybodies in lab coats,” said ALRANZ president Terry Bellamak. “Family Planning has done a real service by quantifying the problem of stigmatising contraception.”
The report said some Kiwis whose GPs obstruct access to contraception also made remarks that showed they “clearly disapproved of my choice, and not only offered me no help, but asked me very inappropriate questions, and made me feel disgusting.”
“I question whether GPs who feel entitled to pass judgment on their patients’ sexual morality when requested to supply safe, legal health care belong in the profession. People go to their GP for health care, not moral instruction,” said Bellamak.
ALRANZ calls on the government to amend the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 to adequately deal with conscientious obstruction.
She went on: “The Abortion Legislation Bill sought to improve the lot of patients with scolds for doctors by requiring them to give their patients details on the closest places to access the care they refused to provide. But the law can’t make them treat their patients decently.
“Such GPs’ actions make no logical or scientific sense. If they also disapprove of abortion, they should be facilitating access to the one thing that is proven to lower the abortion rate.”
New Zealand reformed its abortion laws in March of 2020, decriminalising the procedure and aligning it with other health care.