Prime Minister Bill English acknowledged that most New Zealanders support the right to access abortion at a Family First event on Friday.

“Most people have a different view than I do about abortion. That’s not just reflected in the law, but sort of the practice of it,” said English.

ALRANZ National President Terry Bellamak welcomed the Prime Minister’s acceptance that New Zealanders do not agree with his view on abortion.

“Mr English is correct that most New Zealanders support the right of pregnant people to access abortion without let or hindrance. The results of the poll ALRANZ took earlier in the year showed as much.

“But Mr English’s insistence on maintaining the status quo, an abortion bureaucracy that wastes time and money while legally preventing doctors from providing the highest standard of care for New Zealanders, is difficult to comprehend.

“The current system discriminates against people who seek abortion by making them get the approval of two certifying consultants in order to access health care. No one seeking any other health care procedure is required to do this.

“How does Mr English justify ruling out law reform when most New Zealanders want a system that works well for everyone, without wasting patients’ time and taxpayers’ money?”

Under our 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.