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.

ALRANZ Welcomes Law Commission Report on Abortion Law Reform

ALRANZ welcomes the release of the Law Commission’s long-awaited report on abortion law reform in New Zealand.

“The report sets out three options for reforming the law. Model A is clearly superior because it treats abortion as a health issue like any other, and does not place unnecessary barriers between pregnant people and abortion care,” said Terry Bellamak, National president of ALRANZ.

“Model B is not much better than what we currently have, and does not give pregnant people access to abortion as a matter of right, but rather, places the decision in the hands of a random health practitioner. In this way it does not fulfil the promise the Prime Minister made during the election.

“Abortions at later gestations, which constitute less that 1% of abortions internationally, almost always are responses to a crisis of some kind. Model C is not as bad as Model B, but it forces families in crisis to undergo a complicated and unnecessary legal process to receive health care their doctor has already told them they need.

“We are disappointed the Law Commission did not include a suggestion for buffer zones to prevent harassment of people seeking abortion care.

“It is also disappointing that they did not consider refusal to treat based on ‘conscience’ with respect to contraception.

“Given the short time frame, however, the Law Commission has done an amazing job. We are grateful for their excellent efforts.”

In May, the Republic of Ireland amended its constitution to remove a section that prevented their legislature from legalising abortion. This month, Queensland decriminalised abortion and reformed its laws to improve access to abortion.

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.

ALRANZ Welcomes Abortion Law Reform in Queensland

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa (ALRANZ) congratulates the Australian state of Queensland on successfully reforming their abortion laws.

The Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 allows abortion on request up to 22 weeks gestation. Abortions are allowed after 22 weeks if two medical practitioners agree it is appropriate under the circumstances.

The bill passed 50 votes to 41 on a conscience vote that saw several members of the LNP voting with the majority.

“ALRANZ congratulates Queensland on achieving this milestone in the struggle for reproductive rights for women and pregnant people. The new legislation will go far toward treating abortion as a health issue, and acknowledging the right of pregnant people to decide for themselves whether to receive abortion care,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“Queensland has taken a comprehensive approach in their legislation. The new law establishes safe zones around places where abortions are provided, and requires health practitioners who refuse treatment to refer patients to someone who will give them treatment.”

“Now that Queensland has reformed its abortion laws, only in New South Wales is abortion still a criminal offence.”

In May, the Republic of Ireland amended its constitution to remove a section that prevented their legislature from legalising abortion.

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.