The 0800 ABORTION service has closed due to lacking of funding. This is a great loss and a sad day for New Zealanders who believe people own their own bodies, and ought to be able to decide what happens to those bodies.

The 0800 ABORTION service helped pregnant people navigate New Zealand’s arcane, overly-complicated abortion bureaucracy. For a while, desperate people with unwanted pregnancies could talk to a person who could give them medical information based on scientific fact, and solid logistical information to help them through New Zealand’s Rube Goldberg abortion system. The service would help pregnant patients set up the many appointments needed to get all the bureaucratic boxes ticked, and help make sure they did not jeopardise their chance to get their lives back to normal by leaving anything out.

The service ended up a victim, both of its own success, and of government’s failure.

Nurses had to spend more time than expected with patients, sorting out the complicated logistics required. In the end, there was more need than the service could fulfil.

Having created this complicated maze of an abortion provision system and perpetuated it through 40 years of neglect, government should have recognised the need for a service like this. Failing that, when such a service was actually created and doing good work for the pregnant people of Aotearoa, government should have recognised its usefulness and funded it through the health service.

Instead, pregnant people continue to be ignored by both the government and the opposition.