So-called Abortion Reversal is Dangerous

Media Release

ALRANZ calls upon the New Zealand government to reject dangerous, unproven medical procedures purporting to reverse abortions.

In light of the new government’s uncertain approach to abortion care, ALRANZ seeks confirmation that calls from anti-abortion radicals in New Zealand for the health service to approve (and legitimise) so-called ‘abortion reversal’ will fall upon deaf ears.

ALRANZ executive committee member and board-certified Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Dr Dionne Mills-Sillik says, “There is no such thing as abortion reversal. If someone is pregnant and takes abortion inducing pills, we cannot stop the effects once it has already been ingested. Large doses of progesterone have not been proven to negate the effects of the mifepristone-misoprostol combination with enough consistency and safety to permit anyone to make such claims, and it is irresponsible, insensitive, and malicious to claim otherwise.”

Dr Helen Paterson, Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, and Gynaecologist states, “It is dangerous and there is no evidence that it works. The data show that taking mifepristone followed by progesterone is associated with a significant increase in major bleeding requiring hospitalisation. There have been no high-quality studies showing this therapy is effective. Thus, as far as we know to date, this is high risk for no benefit. If someone does not want an abortion, they should not start an abortion process.”

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and provide clear information that abortions cannot be reversed and that this practice is not supported in New Zealand Aotearoa. There are also clear guidelines that are available to any member of the public through the Ministry of Health’s website if anyone chooses to look for them: New Zealand Aotearoa Abortion Clinical Guideline

ALRANZ trusts medical professionals and researchers, not ideologically motivated anti-choice, anti-abortion groups who have not provided any evidence to support the ‘abortion reversal’ protocol.

ALRANZ calls on the government to follow its own rhetoric and reject policies based on ideology in favour of policies supported by evidence-based, peer-reviewed science. 

‘Don’t Say Gay’ – US Bigotry Making Its Way into New Zealand Schools

 ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa condemns the Luxon government’s plan to remove relationship and sexuality education (RSE) from school curricula.

In striking out RSE, the government ignores decades of evidence-based research carried out in Aotearoa and overseas. 

In 2020, former New Zealand First MP and minister Tracey Martin initiated RSE. Current Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has reversed this policy, ostensibly because parents oppose the RSE curriculum.

ALRANZ rejects Peters’ premise. Parents who learn firsthand about what RSE is and what it includes overwhelmingly support it. 

ALRANZ Secretary and former sexuality educator, Alma De Anda said, “I would attend parents’ nights and present the information on the curriculum in Aotearoa. I always knew parents were concerned about age/stage-appropriate information. When we had an honest discussion about the actual topics, parents never had an issue with the sexuality curriculum.” 

ALRANZ supports educators, education researchers, and professionals who work to reduce sexual violence. They are all in agreement that comprehensive sexuality education is a protective factor against child sexual violence and unplanned pregnancies, and helps build a safer, more inclusive society.

Parents have a right to know what children learn, and a right to opt out of some topics for their children. They do not have a right to dictate what public schools teach based on personal views. We are calling on the government to support evidence-based, peer-reviewed educational best practices, and the protect the RSE curriculum in Aotearoa schools.

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa Welcomes First Day With Implemented Safe Areas

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa is excited for the first day with safe areas outside abortion providers across Aotearoa New Zealand.  From today, the six providers which provide the bulk of abortions in Aotearoa will have a protected zone of 150 metres outside their clinics.

This means patients and providers at two clinics in Auckland, and one each in Wellington, Greymouth, Christchurch and Dunedin will be protected from harassment by anti-choice protestors.

ALRANZ President Ella Shepherd said “the long-awaited implementation of safe areas recognises people deserve dignity and privacy when accessing and providing abortion services.”  These are the first safe areas since the Safe Areas Amendment Bill passed its third reading in March 2022.  ALRANZ remains hopeful the process will continue to be refined and expedited during the ongoing second and third round of applications. 

However, Shepherd remains concerned a National-led government would stifle this progress on abortion access.  “Eleven of the top 20 candidates in the National Party list voted no on either law reform or safe areas, or in the case of Christopher Luxon, have made their anti-choice views publicly clear.  Progress on issues of reproductive justice such as access to abortion are definitely on the ballot this election.”

Safe areas can only be created by the Governor-General, by Order in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, in consultation with the Minister of Justice.  Dr Shani Reti and Paul Goldsmith (who respectively hold the Health and Justice portfolios in the National Party) both voted no to abortion law reform in 2020.

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa Applauds the Implementation of Six Safe Areas Protecting Abortion Providers in Aotearoa

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa welcomes the long-awaited implementation of safe areas around six abortion providers in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Safe areas will go a long way to protecting those accessing or providing abortion services from harassment within 150 metres of a clinic.  ALRANZ thanks the Labour government for putting in the hard work and getting some safe areas over the finish line. 

The safe areas protect two providers in Auckland, and one each in Wellington, Greymouth, Christchurch and Dunedin.  The safe areas implemented will protect the most consistently harassed locations, the ones that provide the bulk of abortions in Aotearoa.

ALRANZ President Ella Shepherd said “the implementation of safe areas goes a long way to full recognition of the fact abortion is healthcare and not a crime, and people deserve dignity and privacy when accessing abortion services.” 

This commitment from the Labour Party stands in stark contrast to many in the opposition party.  ALRANZ remains concerned that many in the National Party caucus hold anti-choice views.  The implementation of safe areas demonstrates it is not merely a matter of law reform, but rather actions of the executive, that truly protects abortion access.  Christopher Luxon is yet to provide adequate assurances that progress on abortion rights is possible under a National-led government.

While this is a sign of significant progress for abortion rights in Aotearoa, the implementation of safe areas has been a slow process.  These are the first safe areas since the Safe Areas Amendment Bill passed its third reading in March 2022.  ALRANZ remains hopeful the process will continue to be refined and expedited during the ongoing second round of applications, and the third round of applications (opening 7 August 2023) will not be as slow.

Open Letter to Christopher Luxon, Leader of the Opposition

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa Secretary Jacqueline Cavanagh sent the following open letter to Christopher Luxon. She objects to his demand for Green Party Co-Leader Marama Davidson’s to apologise for her accurate statements concerning the sources of violence in our communities.


Dear Mr Luxon

You have been quoted as saying that comments made by Marama Davidson were offensive and that she should apologise. You said you believed she must apologise publicly to the people that she hurt. I can only assume that you would expect a public apology from any other politician who says offensive things, in public, and in their capacity as a member of parliament.

I challenge you to live up to your own standards.

In an interview with Newshub in December 2021, you claimed that abortion is tantamount to murder. I had an abortion. You have, therefore, called me a murderer. The fact that I had the abortion to save my life and not leave the child I already had without a mother is a nuance your comment does not consider. Though my reasons do not matter because the decision to end a pregnancy is my right. 

I am not a murderer because abortion is healthcare, not a crime. People who access abortion do so for their own excellent reasons. You may disagree with those reasons, but 74% of New Zealanders agree that abortion should be available on request for any reason. 

I am personally offended by your statements, and I represent a community of people who are similarly offended by your comments. This is the community of people who accessed healthcare services in accordance with the law to end their pregnancies, and the spouses, partners, children and loved ones of those persons. 

I ask you to apologise publicly and unreservedly for your offensive comments, in which you called me a murderer. I believe that a failure to do so calls into question the integrity of your calls for other politicians to apologise. Failure to do so is most certainly failing to live up to the same standards to which you hold other politicians accountable. 

 I await your apology, without holding my breath.


Yours sincerely,

Jacqueline Cavanagh

Secretary, ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa

ALRANZ supports rally for trans acceptance and reproductive rights

ALRANZ supports rally for trans acceptance and reproductive rights

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa stands in unwavering solidarity with Queer Endurance/Defiance, who are organizing the Rally for Trans Acceptance and Reproductive Rights  in Wellington on Sunday 26th March at 1.30pm.

 The rally responds to the speaking tour of anti-trans, anti-abortion and anti-contraception UK extremist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, known as Posie Parker. Immigration New Zealand is allowing Keen-Minshull to travel to New Zealand despite her links with white supremacists.  ALRANZ strongly condemns Keen-Minshull’s hateful and divisive views. Her extremist rhetoric aims to harm and marginalize individuals, particularly women and gender minorities, and restrict their access to vital reproductive healthcare.

 After a strong neo-nazi presence at Keen-Minshulls’ Hobart rally and her anti-trans hate speech, prime minister Chris Hipkins has condemned the use of free speech to incite hatred and violence. ALRANZ spokesperson Fleur Kelsey states “her anti-trans extremist hate speech is not welcome here and does not reflect the views of the majority of New Zealanders” and urges Immigration New Zealand to reconsider and deny Keen-Minshulls’ entry to Aotearoa immediately.

 ALRANZ is committed to upholding the rights of queer and trans people to gender affirming and reproductive healthcare which meets their needs. We urge supporters and allies to join in solidarity at this rally if you are able to. Together, we can drown out the voices of hate and bigotry and show support for the marginalized in our communities.