by Terry Bellamak
To see what the world would look like if anti-abortion types had their way, look no farther than the USA.
Like Oklahoma, which just passed a bill making all abortions illegal except to save the life of the mother. The governor is expected to sign it.
Like Tennessee, which is moving forward with a bill that would allow a family member of a rapist to sue the rape survivor for $10,000. If fact, all the rapist’s family members could sue the survivor, and get $10,000 each.
Like Texas, which has banned abortions from 6 weeks on, and has just arrested and charged Lizelle Herrera with murder for ‘illegal abortion’. She is being held on a half million dollar bond.
Anti-abortion types talk a good game about ‘loving them both’, meaning both pregnant person and foetus. I guess charging someone with felony murder is what love looks like to them. Antis have droned on for years about how they don’t want to criminalise people who receive abortion care, just those who provide it. So much for that.
For the past 40 years, Americans believed their constitutionally protected access to abortion was safe, because it was settled law. But the US Supreme Court has the power to laugh at settled law, even at the cost of trashing the rules of precedent.
Here is New Zealand, access to abortion as health care is also settled law. Abortion care is embedded in the health care system, not kept at arm’s length like it is in the USA. The leader of the opposition has ruled out changes to the law if his party makes it into government next year.
But antis play the long game.
That’s why ALRANZ isn’t going anywhere. We will be right here, now and into the future, speaking out about things that need improving as the Ministry of Health implements abortion law reform and establishes systems to provide abortion care. We will be right here defending New Zealanders’ access to abortion should a government hostile to abortion be elected. We will be right here, talking about reproductive rights and breaking down abortion stigma.
The fight for fundamental human rights is never really over. That’s why we’re here. We play the long game too.