ALRANZ wishes the Irish people all the best in their referendum to repeal the 8thamendment to Ireland’s constitution and allow Irish women to receive abortion care in the home country.

The 8thamendment, which equates the mother’s right to life with the foetus’s, makes it almost impossible for Irish women to receive abortion care, even when the pregnancy threatens their lives. It led to the death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway in 2012.

On TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning, ALRANZ national president Terry Bellamak said the repeal was a necessary first step to making abortion care more accessible. The next step would be legislation.

The Irish government’s proposed legislation would “give Irish women the right to get an abortion up to twelve weeks for any reason,” said Bellamak.

“At that point, their laws would be more liberal than New Zealand’s.”

The Ministry of Justice has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating it as a health matter rather than a criminal matter.

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.