New Zealand: Political Roundup: The uncomfortable abortion reform challenge

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Political Roundup: The uncomfortable abortion reform challenge
Friday Mar 17, 2017
Bryce Edwards on politics

The radical return of the abortion issue is an opportunity and challenge for politicians. Will they rise to the occasion?

Politicians are finally having to face up to the unresolved abortion question. As yesterday's column pointed out - Should abortion be decriminalised? - the law around abortion is suddenly back on the agenda, following decades of a kind of uncomfortable truce. This was based on an unofficial compromise in which the legal framework for abortion has been very restrictive in law, but relatively liberal in practice.

Most politicians are able to live with compromises, even if they can result in rather messy and farcical situations. But it now appears that the abortion compromise might be falling apart. This will be very uncomfortable for many politicians. Even those who are personally comfortable with more liberal abortion laws will be aware of the potential can of worms that is opened by a renewed debate and investigation into abortion laws. And other politicians will also see the opportunity that such a debate might afford for their own electoral advantage.

Continued at source: New Zealand Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11820489