NEW ZEALAND – The Law Commission reports back to the government: ALRANZ’s analysis

During the national elections in NZ that elected Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister last year, she declared her intention to decriminalise abortion and change the law to treat abortion as a health matter. In February 2018, her Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, directed the Law Commission to report back to him in eight months with options for abortion law reform. The Law Commission’s 236-page report, Alternative Approaches to Abortion Law has now been published. It … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – Labour starts process of reforming the abortion law, as new Prime Minister had promised

On 16 February 2018, Andrew Little, senior Labour Party MP, made public the governing party’s decision to launch reform of New Zealand’s abortion law and invited the two other governing parties, New Zealand First and the Greens, to comment. He said he had received a letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the tripartite coalition was formed, directing him to begin the process. Once the two other parties give feedback, the Law Commission will be … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – ALRANZ: Report of 2017

  The Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ had a busy year. They launched a new website, which includes information about doctors who refuse to provide reproductive health services; released the results of a poll commissioned in January that revealed the majority of New Zealanders are pro-choice in all circumstances; organised counter-demonstrations against anti-abortion types who were harassing women outside abortion clinics; appeared on a TV talk show with the then Prime Minister who was … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – Anti-abortion misquote of Prime Minister backfires

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a pre-election promise during the recent election in New Zealand that a Labour Government would take abortion out of the Crimes Act. Since she formed a coalition government and became Prime Minister, some members of the anti-abortion movement have been trying to discredit her. One tactic backfired. A group calling themselves the Make New Zealand Great Again Party posted a picture of the Prime Minister on a sponsored … Continued

NEW ZEALAND – Anti-abortion club voted out of Auckland University Students Association

  Auckland University students have voted to abolish an anti-abortion club from their Students Association.   About 2,700 students participated in a week-long online referendum, which asked whether the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) should disaffiliate the ProLife Club. About 1,600 students voted in favour of the motion. The head of AUSA said that their free speech was not affected, only their membership of the Association.   Results of referenda which did not directly affect the … Continued

Asia-Pacific News Shorts

NEW ZEALAND Abortion rates lowest in 25 years The number of abortions in New Zealand in 2016 was the lowest in more than 25 years, according to Statistics New Zealand. The abortion rate for women aged 20-24 years fell from a peak of 41 per 1000 women in 2003 to 21 per 1000 in 2016. Teenagers are having fewer abortions than women in their 20s and 30s, with better access to contraceptives tipped as one … Continued

Stories of women who’ve had an abortion in New Zealand

  Parliament carried its annual review of the Abortion Supervisory Committee in March. The Prime Minister had already said he didn’t want to change the abortion law. The NZ Herald put out a call for any women who’d had an abortion to share their experience, and whether they wanted to see change. “A” was in a loving long-term relationship when she got pregnant at 18. They were using condoms, but it wasn’t enough. When she … Continued

New Zealand abortion law outdated, official committee says, and many members of parliament agree, but no one is moving to change it before the next election

The New Zealand Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC), which is appointed by and reports to the NZ government, made its annual presentation to Parliament’s justice and electoral committee on 16 March 2017. Dame Linda Holloway, ASC chairwoman, told the committee that the outdated wording of the law was causing “enormous administrative problems” for the ASC and health practitioners. “The law was not written in inclusive language. In fact, some parts of the language are actually quite … Continued

New Zealand: Alranz, We are pro-truth

On 3 March, the head of ALRANZ, Terry Bellamak wrote: “Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It marks the beginning of the anti-choicers’ annual [40 day] protest outside hospitals and clinics where abortions are performed. “This year, ALRANZ will spend these 40 days celebrating truth. The protesters are well aware their efforts do not change the minds of those seeking care. Rather, it seems the protesters’ purpose is to increase the emotional cost … Continued

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