ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa (ALRANZ) congratulates the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCW) for reaffirming its commitment to reproductive rights by strengthening its position on abortion law reform at its annual conference in Auckland on Saturday.
NCW voted decisively in favour of the ALRANZ-sponsored remit to bolster its support for abortion law reform by calling for abortion to be “a standard part of health care – safe, legal and accessible”.
“ALRANZ welcomes NCW’s commitment to abortion law reform as part of its long-term plan to foster gender equity in New Zealand,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.
“People cannot achieve gender equity without being able to control their own fertility. And gender equity is impossible in a country where pregnant people cannot make their own decisions about their own bodies.
“NCW’s new remit echoes the government’s commitment to treat abortion as a health matter. It’s a position that is worthy of the first country to recognise women’s right to vote.
“ALRANZ looks forward to working with NCW to achieve abortion law reform at long last.”
NCW was founded by Kate Sheppard in 1896. It is one of New Zealand’s largest women’s organisations.
In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.
The Ministry of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.
ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion. 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.
Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion on request.