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.

Diagram Shows How Complicated NZ Abortion Is

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa has released a diagram on its website, showing how complicated the process for getting an abortion in New Zealand is for people trying to access the procedure.

The page shows a stark comparison between seeking an abortion in present-day New Zealand and seeking one in the USA in the 1980s.

“We chose to compare New Zealand’s process with the relatively straightforward process common across almost all of the states in the 1980s, rather than the situation in the US today. This is because years of politically driven assaults on reproductive rights in the states have made the process in places like Texas or Alabama look a lot more like New Zealand’s,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“Other states, like Oregon and New York, use almost the same process now as was common in the 1980s.

“It’s a clear and compelling illustration of how difficult it really is to access abortion here, and of how dysfunctional our abortion laws are.

“Accessing abortion does not need to be this difficult.”

New Zealand’s complicated, time-consuming legal requirements leave abortion seekers vulnerable to various hassles, also discussed on the page.

“New Zealand’s abortion provision system is unusual in its complexity, and the stress and dysfunction fall much more heavily on those who and lack the money to overcome them, and on those who live far away from urban centres.”

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.

New Zealand’s abortion regime is 40 years old. In February the Minister of Justice, Hon Andrew Little, asked the Law Commission to review New Zealand’s abortion laws, so as to treat abortion as a health matter.

ALRANZ Welcomes Law Commission Review

ALRANZ welcomes Justice Minister Little’s call for a Law Commission review of New Zealand’s abortion laws. The Minister said abortion should be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal matter.

ALRANZ National President Terry Bellamak agreed with Minister Little, and said decriminalisation must include getting rid of certifying consultant approvals based on the grounds for the 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.

“The Law Commission has the opportunity to eliminate much of the time-consuming box-ticking exercise pregnant people must go through to access abortion, by modernising the law,” said Bellamak.

“New Zealand’s current legal framework imposes restrictions that place the decision to terminate a pregnancy in the hands of doctors the pregnant person has likely never even met before. That is ridiculous. The pregnant person should be able to choose and access abortion as a matter of right.”

Bellamak said ALRANZ believes the Law Commission should not preserve other restrictions that overmedicalise a safe, routine medical procedure that one in four New Zealanders capable of becoming pregnant will access during their reproductive lives.

“We hope the Law Commission will take international medical best practice into account, backed up by peer-reviewed research.

“The bottom line is this: trust pregnant people to make the best decisions they can, for themselves and their families.”

Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion on request.