The Labour coalition has been in government for 18 months now. Half its term is now in the past.
And abortion care is still in the Crimes Act.
This government has done more and gone farther than any previous government to fix the travesty of our abortion care system. The Law Commission’s carefully considered report sets out the situation clearly, with options for solutions. They reported back 6 months ago.
And still there is no bill.
If this were not a matter of fundamental human rights, maybe it wouldn’t matter quite so much that there is still nothing in the legislative pipeline after 6 months.
But every day across New Zealand women are lying about their mental health status, because it is the only way they can legally receive the safe, routine care they need. Every day they run from pillar to post, ticking the pointless legal boxes. Every day West Coasters board the bus for Christchurch, having scraped up the money to pay for the ticket. Those who can’t find the money somewhere can only watch the bus leave, and wish they were on it.
The fact this situation has gone on for 40-odd years does not mean it is not a crisis.
Every time someone is denied abortion care they requested, every time someone is too afraid of their GP’s pinch-mouthed moral judgment to request a referral for abortion care, every time someone lies that her mental health is fragile and dies a little inside, it’s crisis to them.
Half its term is still in the future. The coalition needs to get on with it.