ALRANZ announced the Office of Human Rights Proceedings (OHRP) has decided to provide ALRANZ with representation before the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT).

Last year, ALRANZ and five individuals complained to the Human Rights Commission that New Zealand’s abortion laws discriminate against women and pregnant people. The complaint was not settled, and will go before the HRRT in due course.

“We welcome the OHRP Director’s decision to provide ALRANZ with representation before the HRRT. We feel this highlights the unfairness of New Zealand’s current abortion laws toward women and pregnant people,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“Women have the inherent right to make decisions about their own health, and their own bodies, but current law does not recognise this right.

“Women and pregnant people face discrimination in receiving safe and routine abortion care. No one else has to lie about their mental health status, or have their reasons judged against a section of the Crimes Act in order to access health care. No one else needs the approval of two random certifying consultants to get care. No one else has their access to health care obstructed by providers who want to judge their morals.

“We look forward to presenting our case.”

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

The Minister 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 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.

Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion care on request.