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
“The Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act is 40 years old. It was written at a time when abortion was so stigmatised that the royal commission could openly design the law to force women to carry their pregnancies to term in most cases. Only the liberal interpretation of certifying consultants over the years has caused abortion to be more widely available than intended. Over the years, roughly 98% of abortions have been granted on mental health grounds.”
“Dame Margaret Sparrow was 21 when she carried out her do-it-yourself abortion. The year was 1956; if you didn’t want a baby, there were few ways out. She sent away for an inky-black elixir from a chemist rumoured to know about such things, and it arrived in the post in a brown paper bag. “I have no idea what the mixture contained, whether it was a health risk or what the margin of safety was,” … Continued
For funding, the service relied on donations by certifying abortion consultants of part of the fees they received from the Ministry of Justice. Unfortunately, the model of funding this service used continued to fall short. Callers to the service are being told that it is currently closed and not accepting new patients.
In response to anti-abortion harassment of women going into the local hospital for abortions, the pro-choice group in Thames, New Zealand, vowed to demonstrate each week alongside them. On 4 August, 40 people attended a pro-choice community meeting in the town, and the group held its first pro-choice demonstration on 5 August to support women seeking abortion services.