14 October 2012                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALRANZ Calls on Deputy PM to Denounce Anti-Abortion Threats

The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) today called on Deputy Prime Minister and Clutha-Southland MP Bill English to denounce plans by anti-abortionists in Southland to “name and shame” medical professionals working in abortion care, ALRANZ spokeswoman Alison McCulloch said today.

According to a report in today’s Sunday Star Times, Mr. English supports the anti-abortionists who have been campaigning against Southland’s newly opened abortion service.

“We want to know if he also supports the menacing tactics this group is apparently planning, including harassing women outside the clinic and a ‘name and shame’ campaign against medical staff,” Ms. McCulloch said.

“Mr. English, along with the religious leaders backing this campaign, must denounce these dangerous threatening tactics,” she said. “It is outrageous that MPs and religious leaders have stood by as the rhetoric and attacks against healthcare professionals performing a legal medical procedure have continued to escalate. It is time to stop this before it leads to violence.”

Anti-choice activists claim local staff won’t take part in abortion care because they oppose abortion, Ms. McCulloch said. “That’s simply not true. Some staff may well be anti-choice, but ALRANZ has been told by the Southern District Health Board that those opting out do not necessarily personally object, but they do fear backlash from anti-abortion activists.”

“We can certainly understand why they have those fears when they face these kinds of bully tactics,” Ms. McCulloch said.

More info:

www.alranz.wordpress.com and www.alranz.org

ALRANZ is at: 021-082-76474
email: safeandlegal@gmail.com