ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa welcomes the High Court’s decision in NZ Health Professionals’ Alliance v Attorney-General, which upholds ss 14 and 15 of the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 (‘CSAA’), amended in the Abortion Legislation Act 2020.
Section 14 requires health practitioners to inform patients if they have a ‘conscientious objection’ to providing abortion care, and to inform them where to access the contact details of the nearest health practitioner who provides abortions.
Section 15 requires employers to accommodate health practitioners who obstruct access to reproductive health care, unless doing so would cause unreasonable disruption.
“The High Court has considered the case with evident care and clarity, and has found that neither section of the CSAA limits the NZHPA’s rights under the NZ Bill of Rights, and even if they did, it would be a justified limitation,” summarised Terry Bellamak, ALRANZ President.
“The High Court has taken the rights of pregnant people into its balancing of the rights in question, as we hoped it would.
“This judgment demonstrates the effect of treating abortion as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. People have a right to health care, and that right must be taken into consideration.
“This is a great outcome for the people of Aotearoa.”
New Zealand reformed its abortion laws in March of 2020, decriminalising the procedure and aligning it with other health care.