ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa deplores the statements of National MPs Harete Hipango and Simon O’Conner on Facebook, alleging New Zealand’s reformed abortion legislation allows full term babies to be aborted.

“What they are saying is wrong on so many levels,” said ALRANZ president Terry Bellamak. “In the first place, abortion is about embryos and foetuses, never babies.

“In the second place, the old legislation also allowed abortions after 20 weeks. But here’s the important thing: a pregnancy that lasts for 20 weeks or more is a wanted pregnancy. If that pregnancy has to end in abortion, it’s because the pregnant person’s health is in danger, or the foetus has a fatal anomaly.

“If the foetus is viable, the health care team waits as long as possible to give it the best chance of survival before inducing labour. When a foetus proceeds from the uterus in a living state, that is called ‘birth’.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, when asked for comment on Hipango’s post, gently suggested it would be better if MPs based their views on facts.

Justice Minister Andrew Little was blunter, calling Hipango’s comments “silly.”

He added, “If Judith Collins is happy to have a bunch of radical, anti-abortion extremists running the show on social media, that’s a matter for her.”

Bellamak concluded, “This kind of scaremongering insults the intelligence of everyone they expect it would work on.”

New Zealand reformed its abortion laws in March of 2020, decriminalising the procedure and aligning it with other health care.