ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa said the abortion statistics released today by Stats NZ show little change in the general abortion numbers, but point to opportunities for improvement in health care if abortion law reform passes.

“These stats show a continuing trend toward abortion care at earlier gestations. This demonstrates people want abortion care as early as possible,” said Terry Bellamak, ALRANZ National president.

“Early medical abortion uses two different medicines taken 24 – 48 hours apart. Current law requires both medications to be taken in a licenced institution. This is unnecessary, as is shown by the good results in other countries where the pills are taken at home. Abortion law reform of the kind discussed by the Law Commission would allow early medical abortions to be completed at home, where the person feels comfortable as does not run the risk of miscarrying in transit.”

“Also, people in rural areas can find it difficult to receive abortion care due to the distance to the nearest provider, and the expense of funding travel and childcare. Early medical abortion care could bridge the gap in rural areas.

 “Everyone deserves the freedom to decide for themselves whether and when to become a parent.

“We expect the New Zealand government to follow through on its commitment to the people of Aotearoa, who overwhelmingly support reproductive rights, according to recent polling by Newshub.”

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion care. 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.