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.
Secretary, ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa