ALRANZ’s history


The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) is New Zealand’s national abortion-rights advocacy group in existence since 1971. ALRANZ was formed in response to the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), an anti-abortion group. SPUC was launched in March 1970. Under the leadership of renowned medical professor William Liley, SPUC drew on Liley’s high-profile work on foetal transfusions to make dubious claims about the medical consequences of abortion and the experience of countries with liberal laws. These claims were questioned, as was the lack of consideration for the suffering of unhappily pregnant women seeking abortions and the fact that children ought to be born to parents who want them. 

In response to SPUC’s campaigning, a group of around 60 concerned individuals met on 4 August 1970. They formed ALRANZ under the leadership of Mr Wayne Facer, an Auckland University administrator, who became the first research officer for ALRANZ. The group decided to form a steering committee, charged with drafting aims and objectives.

The steering committee reported back to a meeting held in the Unitarian Church, Ponsonby Road on 15 September 1970. At that meeting, ALRANZ endorsed the draft aims, and a constitution was prepared to establish ALRANZ as an incorporated society.

The group was led by Margaret Sparrow (1975-1980 + 1984-2011), and subsequently by Morgan Healy (2011-2015), Terry Bellamak (2015-2021), and Dr Tracy Morison (2021-2023). Ella Shepherd is the current president.

Headshots of former prsidents

Read more about our history on Wikipedia.

ALRANZ in 2023

Ella Shepherd has a BA/LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland and currently works in the public sector.  She is the former Chairwoman of Auckland University’s Campus Feminist Collective, and became President of ALRANZ in 2023. 

Alma De Anda has a Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology and a Master’s of Science in Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour.  Alma has over ten years of experience in sexuality education and outreach with people of all ages in both English and Spanish.

Jess Ducey has been involved with ALRANZ for many years.

Dr Dionne Mills-Sillik is a board certified Obstetrician Gynaecologist.  She is a wife and mother of three children.  Dionne is a passionate advocate for women’s health, reproductive justice and champions various social justice causes.

Fleur Kelsey is a midwife and midwifery lecturer with a strong interest in ensuring that abortion and reproductive and sexual health services are delivered equitably.  Fleur is also a PhD candidate exploring midwives responses to the change in abortion law.

Dr Liz Beddoe is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Auckland.  She was formerly a health social worker for 12 years specialising in women’s health.  Her research focuses on media framing, women’s rights, reproductive justice, and critical social work.