ALRANZ has recently published a background information sheet on disability and abortion. It is intended not as a definitive position, but a starting point for engagement and the articulation of difference. The document itself has been a long time in the making, requiring careful reflection, evidenced based arguments and internal discussion within ALRANZ.

We recognize that the topic is not an easy one to engage on. There are strong feelings on both sides, which have a tendency to obscure the commonalities that could bring disability rights and reproductive right activists together. This is not to say that hard conversations will not have to be had, but that taking the initial steps toward meaningful dialogue is necessary.

The document provides:

  • A basis for common ground;
  • Discussion on where controversy arises;
  • A legal basis for challenging ongoing inequalities in New Zealand; and
  • What can be done

As part of the last section, ALRANZ reaffirms its commitment to the following principles:

  • free access to contraception and sterilization without coercion, including the freedom from nonconsensual sterilisation;
  • the right to accurate, balanced information about reproductive health and disability;
  • the right to have or refuse prenatal testing;
  • the right to continue or terminate a pregnancy when a fetal diagnosis is made;
  • the right to adequate social and financial support for raising a child with a disability; and
  • the right to equal access to fertility-enhancing technologies.

(For a more in-depth and longer Discussion Document click here.)

ALRANZ welcomes your feedback and thoughts. If you are involved in or represent a group involved in disability rights and would like to talk with someone from ALRANZ, please contact us at  All comments on this post will be moderated. Comments are turned off on the Backgrounder and the longer Discussion Paper. And if you’re in any doubt, check out our comments policy.