by admin | 27 Jun, 2022 | Media Release
On Friday, 24 June 2022 (local time), millions of United States citizens lost the right to control their bodies and make decisions affecting their lives, families, and futures. The US Supreme Court reached a majority decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion care. The United States joins Poland, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in recent reversals of abortion rights.
ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa joins reproductive health and rights organisations around the world in expressing grave concerns. ALRANZ President and sexual and reproductive health researcher Dr Tracy Morison stated, “This decision makes no legal or public health sense; it simply makes reproductive rights uneven across the United States. Restrictive laws are associated with more unsafe abortions; globally, the leading cause of avoidable pregnancy-related deaths”.
Experts warn that the Supreme Court’s judgement will cause wide-ranging individual and social harm, highlighting that countries where abortion is heavily restricted or banned fare far worse on health, social, and economic indicators than those allowing choice. Morison concurs. “This judgement will undoubtedly harm and place an undue burden on individuals seeking an abortion,” she said. “Along with poor health outcomes, there are likely to be negative social and economic effects too. We can expect to see widening social inequality because those from marginalised groups struggle most to access abortion. There are potential negative consequences for gender equity. Reducing women’s reproductive choices affects their education, employment, and earning potential, with knock-on effects for their families, communities, and wider society. There are also worries about LGBTQ health and recently gained rights”.
Reproductive health experts are also concerned about global repercussions, as anti-choice groups elsewhere are emboldened to reverse hard-won gains. ALRANZ shares this concern and views the overturning of Roe v Wade as an assault on reproductive rights, human rights, and democracy, not only within the United States but the world over.
As for Aotearoa New Zealand, ALRANZ has pointed to worrying remarks made by members of the opposition party and urges Kiwis to remain vigilant regarding our new-won freedoms. The organisation will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for the right to choose.
by admin | 4 May, 2022 | Media Release
ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa is deeply disturbed by the leaked draft opinion of the United States Supreme Court that purports to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. Abortion is a fundamental human right and, if the leak is accurate, the decision will jeopardise millions of Americans’ access to necessary reproductive healthcare.
Despite being profoundly disappointed, ALRANZ is not surprised. ALRANZ spokesperson Ella Shepherd said “women in America have been warning us of this trend for years. This decision would be the culmination of decades of systematic efforts to erode women’s reproductive rights. The decision fails and endangers pregnant people in America”.
Striking down Roe v Wade would be a significant injustice falling hardest on those already struggling to access reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Shepherd continued “the overturning of a nearly-50 year old precedent is a stark reminder that women’s rights and reproductive rights more broadly are vulnerable to erosion”.
“Even though New Zealand legalised abortion in 2020, we must remain vigilant to ensure the right to abortion is preserved and abortion is accessible in Aotearoa. The United States has demonstrated that public opinion being overwhelming in support of legal abortion is not sufficient to protect the right”.
ALRANZ would remind everyone that abortion remains legal in all 50 states until the decision is formally released. For those who wish to show support, ALRANZ recommends donating to an abortion access funds in states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi where abortion is already restricted.
by admin | 24 Jun, 2015 | Media Release
ABORTION LAW REFORM ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND
24 June 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANTI-ABORTION GROUP OWES $72,500 IN 2012 COURT CASE
The anti-abortion group in the middle of legal action aimed at shutting down Family Planning’s early medication abortion service in Tauranga still owes the government $72,500 in court costs over its previous case, information just released under the Official Information Act reveals.
Information issued on Tuesday by the Crown Law Office shows that the anti-choice group Right to Life owes the money in Court of Appeal and High Court costs in relation to its seven-year case against the Abortion Supervisory Committee, which it eventually lost in the Supreme Court in 2012, the newly elected president of ALRANZ (Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand), Terry Bellamak, said today.
“Our outdated criminalised abortion laws invite these kinds of cases,” Ms. Bellamak said. “And the government’s failure to recover what it is owed three years after the end of Right to Life’s last case certainly doesn’t help discourage them.”
Ms. Bellamak said that both the 2012 case and the current legal action were aimed at exploiting New Zealand’s 38-year-old abortion laws, which can’t accommodate either modern medicine or women’s reproductive rights.
ALRANZ Secretary, Annabel Henderson Morrell voiced dismay that the government has taken so long to recover money in a case that likely cost taxpayers at least 10 times the amount owed by Right to Life.
“The Abortion Supervisory Committee told us in 2012 it had spent nearly half a million dollars defending itself in that case,” she said, “It’s appalling they had to resort to that. That funding could’ve been used for far more beneficial outcomes such as increased resourcing for comprehensive sexuality education in schools, or wider subsidisation of contraceptive options,” she said.
In its Official Information Act response, Crown Law wrote that it “is continuing to pursue payment of that amount and has most recently advised RTL that it must pay costs before 31 July 2015.”
A ruling is pending from the High Court in Right to Life’s current case, which challenges the Abortion Supervisory Committee’s granting of a licence for Family Planning to provide early medication abortions at its Tauranga clinic.
A timeline of the 7-year court case that ended in 2012 is here: http://www.alranz.org/takeaction/factsheets/RTLVASC.html
Click this link for a .pdf of the OIA Letter (Address of recipient redacted by ALRANZ): Crown_Law_23_June_2015.