New Zealand is finally trying to decriminalize abortion. Why has it taken so long?

New Zealand is finally trying to decriminalize abortion. Why has it taken so long?

By Julia Hollingsworth, CNN
Sun August 18, 2019

(CNN) Veronica was 21 years old and scared. It all started with a break-up. Her long-term boyfriend left her for her friend. Heartbroken, she ended up having a one-night stand with an older guy.

After the condom broke, he gave her $20 ($13) for the morning after pill, which doesn't require a prescription in New Zealand. She took it but a month later, in the final semester of her teaching degree, she found out she was pregnant.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/18/health/new-zealand-abortion-law-change-intl-hnk/index.html

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NEW ZEALAND – Abortion Law Reform Bill passes first reading by wide margin

NEW ZEALAND – Abortion Law Reform Bill passes first reading by wide margin

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 16, 2019

The long awaited, draft abortion law reform bill passed its first reading, 94 to 23, in the Parliament on 8 August 2019. “The biggest change was taking it out of the criminal code, which is very positive,” reported Jackie Edmond, head of Family Planning NZ, since abortion services were still managed through the Ministry of Justice, even though it’s a health service.

In the last 10 years, 2,566 women have been told that their request for an abortion was unjustified, according to a report from Stuff Circuit, an investigative reporting group, with data from the NZ Abortion Supervisory Committee.

ALRANZ reports that much of the new bill is great, but not everything. Here are the things Terry Bellamak says the government definitely got right:

Continued: https://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/new-zealand-abortion-law-reform-bill-passes-first-reading-by-wide-margin/

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Denying the right to an abortion is a form of tyranny

Denying the right to an abortion is a form of tyranny

Terry Bellamak
May 30 2019

OPINION: Alfred Ngaro speaks of poking bears. But bears come in all shapes, sizes, and political persuasions. And Ngaro has also poked a bear.

Last week, the National list MP claimed New Zealanders who have received abortion care couldn't possibly feel criminalised by accessing medical care that is criminalised. This ridiculous claim has inspired many women to speak out in a string of excellent articles: Paula Penfold, Liz Beddoe, Emma Espiner, Sophie Bateman, and Michelle Hickman. Many voices have risen up in defence of the basic human right to access medical care without judgment.

Continued: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/113091631/denying-the-right-to-an-abortion-is-a-form-of-tyranny

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New Zealand – Abort the stigma: Why talking about your abortion helps make it safer for everyone

Abort the stigma: Why talking about your abortion helps make it safer for everyone

Terry Bellamak | Guest writer
Mar 6, 2019

Today is Ash Wednesday, when the annual 40 Days for Life anti-abortion campaign kicks off. This year, explains ALRANZ president Terry Bellamak, the pro-choice counter-protest has a new focus: breaking the silence.

A large majority of New Zealanders trust women and pregnant people to decide for themselves whether to receive abortion care. Only the people involved understand what is best for themselves and their families. Everyone deserves the freedom to decide whether and when to become a parent.

Continued: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/06-03-2019/abort-the-stigma-why-talking-about-your-abortion-helps-make-it-safer-for-everyone/

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New Zealand – Hundreds march on Parliament calling for abortion law reform

Hundreds march on Parliament calling for abortion law reform

Sam Tattersfield and Felix Desmarais
Dec 05 2018

Hundreds marched from Frank Kitts Park to Parliament on Wednesday to demand the decriminalisation of abortion.

Despite a blustering squall, the crowd of about 300 rallied below the statue of former Prime Minister Richard Seddon on Parliament's forecourt.

Continued: https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/109128499/Hundreds-march-on-Parliament-calling-for-abortion-law-reform

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New Zealand – Doctors to fight new abortion law

Doctors to fight new abortion law
Group opposes any moves that erode rights in dealing with patients seeking terminations, writes Claire Trevett.

3 Dec, 2018
By: Claire Trevett, Deputy political editor, NZ Herald

A group of doctors opposed to abortion say they will fight any moves in looming reforms to erode their rights to refuse to deal with patients wanting abortions. The issue of referring patients seeking abortions to another doctor has drawn opposition from the group.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says he agrees with a Law Commission proposal for doctors who are "conscientious objectors" to abortion to be made to directly refer a patient on to another doctor who they know will provide the service.

Continued: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12167498

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Abortion in New Zealand and How We Got Here

Abortion in New Zealand and How We Got Here
Untangling the criminal history of abortions in New Zealand shows our laws have long been out of step with society.

by Laetitia Laubscher
Nov 27 2018

Abortion is legal in New Zealand but to get one most women have to lie.

In the year to June 2017, New Zealanders had 13,285 abortions, about one-fifth of all known pregnancies that year. The overwhelming majority were obtained through the circuitous, ambiguously legal method that exists in New Zealand—a system criticised by the United Nations for being an arbitrary, discriminatory mess.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/wj3jmx/abortion-in-new-zealand-and-how-we-got-here

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New Zealand – Using illegally imported abortion kits ‘potentially life threatening’

Using illegally imported abortion kits 'potentially life threatening'
A doctor who performs abortions in Christchurch says she's "disturbed" people are illegally importing abortion medicine.

5 November 2018

Last year, 39 "kits" containing abortion medicines mifepristone and/or misoprostol were seized at the border, according to regulator Medsafe. The pills induce miscarriage and are used for early medical abortions for women up to 10 weeks pregnant.

Certifying consultant and abortion provider Dr Pippa Mackay said she was concerned to hear about people importing abortion providing pills they had bought online, when abortions were safe and accessible in New Zealand.

Continued: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/370278/using-illegally-imported-abortion-kits-potentially-life-threatening

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New Zealand – Some pregnancies are in the woman’s best interests. Others are not

Some pregnancies are in the woman's best interests. Others are not

Terry Bellamak
Nov 05 2018

OPINION: Karl du Fresne writes about his confusion that some pregnancies are celebrated and welcomed while others end in abortion.

I can understand why he might find it confusing. Du Fresne focuses his attention and his care solely on the foetus. You have to widen your focus to include the pregnant person's point of view in order to make sense of the matter.

Continued: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/108343008/some-pregnancies-are-in-the-womans-best-interests-others-are-not

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New Zealand – Abortion law reform options an improvement – advocate

Abortion law reform options an improvement - advocate

27 October 2018

The Law Commission has recommended decriminalising abortion and making it simpler for a woman to get a procedure.

The minister, Andrew Little, asked the Law Commission in February for options on changing the 40-year-old law, and it reported back yesterday. Mr Little will now consult with his government partners and take a paper to Cabinet.

Continued: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/369587/abortion-law-reform-options-an-improvement-advocate

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