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.

ALRANZ Applauds NCW Abortion Stance

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa (ALRANZ) congratulates the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCW) for reaffirming its commitment to reproductive rights by strengthening its position on abortion law reform at its annual conference in Auckland on Saturday.

NCW voted decisively in favour of the ALRANZ-sponsored remit to bolster its support for abortion law reform by calling for abortion to be “a standard part of health care – safe, legal and accessible”.

“ALRANZ welcomes NCW’s commitment to abortion law reform as part of its long-term plan to foster gender equity in New Zealand,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“People cannot achieve gender equity without being able to control their own fertility. And gender equity is impossible in a country where pregnant people cannot make their own decisions about their own bodies.

“NCW’s new remit echoes the government’s commitment to treat abortion as a health matter. It’s a position that is worthy of the first country to recognise women’s right to vote.

“ALRANZ looks forward to working with NCW to achieve abortion law reform at long last.”

NCW was founded by Kate Sheppard in 1896. It is one of New Zealand’s largest women’s organisations.

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

The Ministry 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 Congratulates Ireland

ALRANZ congratulates the Republic of Ireland on the repeal of the 8thamendment. The Irish Times has reported exit polls predict a landslide in favour of changing the constitution to permit the government to introduce legislation allowing pregnant people to access abortion care in Ireland.

“After years of scathing criticism from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights, and Amnesty International, years of women being forced to travel to another country to receive necessary health care, and the unnecessary death of Savita Halappanavar, the Irish government has finally given Irish people a chance to speak. They overwhelmingly said yes to bodily autonomy, human dignity, and the human rights of women and pregnant people,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“If Ireland can cast away medieval opinion and embrace the reality that women are people, so can New Zealand.”

“The Irish government has promised to introduce legislation providing for abortion care on request up to 12 weeks, with no reason given. When the law is passed, Ireland’s abortion laws will be more progressive than New Zealand’s.”

The Ministry 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 Wishes Ireland a Successful Repeal of the 8th

ALRANZ wishes the Irish people all the best in their referendum to repeal the 8thamendment to Ireland’s constitution and allow Irish women to receive abortion care in the home country.

The 8thamendment, which equates the mother’s right to life with the foetus’s, makes it almost impossible for Irish women to receive abortion care, even when the pregnancy threatens their lives. It led to the death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway in 2012.

On TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning, ALRANZ national president Terry Bellamak said the repeal was a necessary first step to making abortion care more accessible. The next step would be legislation.

The Irish government’s proposed legislation would “give Irish women the right to get an abortion up to twelve weeks for any reason,” said Bellamak.

“At that point, their laws would be more liberal than New Zealand’s.”

The Ministry of Justice has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating it as a health matter rather than a criminal matter.

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 Thanks Abortion Providers During 40 Days Protests

ALRANZ has sent flowers or treats to all abortion services in New Zealand, to thank them for the fine work they do all year.

“This time of year is especially difficult for abortion care providers, because of the increased harassment during the ‘40 Days for Life’ protests,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

Anti-abortion organisations in New Zealand started the annual protests several years ago, imitating American anti-abortion groups.

“In past years, we were able to treat some of the bigger abortion services. But this year we got a fantastic response to our Givealittle page. We raised over $1000, which we are using to send flowers and other treats to every abortion service in New Zealand,” Bellamak continued.

“We feel very grateful to the folks who provide abortions care, and very grateful to all our supporters who have enabled us to show them all how much New Zealand appreciates the work they do.”

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.