Pro-choice demonstration in New Zealand outside a hospital providing abortions to counter anti-abortion harassment

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.Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ President, Terry Bellamak, spoke at the community meeting and said anti-abortion harassment was another form of the street harassment that all women experienced, which “women experience as intrusive and intimidating, even if protesters are silent”.Green MP, Catherine Delahunty, said at the demonstration. “I don’t think that they have an understanding of how damaging these actions have been, not only to those women going to the health services but for people who have been traumatised by their own experiences,” she said.The anti-abortion group was not present on 5 August. They claimed it was because they had been made aware after five years of picketing that they needed to get a permit.Stuff, article and photo by Terersa Ramsey, 5 August 2016