ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa welcomes the results of the Newshub/Reid Research poll showing 69.9% of New Zealanders support the decriminalisation of abortion.

“The results show New Zealand continues its trend of greater support for abortion care as people learn more about it,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“It is particularly encouraging that 36.7% support Model A. Model A treats abortion care just like any other kind of health care. You don’t have to show other kinds of health care are appropriate, because doctors do not make them available if they are not appropriate. Abortion would be treated the same.

“That 43.2% support Model B, in which pregnant people need the approval of a doctor to access abortion care, is another artefact of abortion stigma. Treating abortion as a special case is degrading to pregnant people who have to seek approval to make decisions about their own body, and expensive to the health system.

“Women and pregnant people make life-altering decisions every day, like deciding to get married, emigrate, change jobs, or get divorced, without the approval of some random authority figure. Deciding to receive abortion care is no different.”

It has been suggested the NZ First party has slowed the progress of a proposed abortion law reform bill through Cabinet. ALRANZ supporters demonstrated their disapproval at Parliament yesterday, wearing Handmaids’ costumes and carrying a sign that read ‘NZ First – Women Last’.

“NZ First needs to realise that forty years is too long to wait for law reform. If they are obstructing the process, they need to stop,” said Bellamak.

“Even NZ First supporters want abortion law reform. ALRANZ trusts women and pregnant people to decide for themselves whether to receive abortion care. If NZ First does not trust women with their own bodily autonomy, they need to explain why.”

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

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.