Can Ardern Successfully Decriminalize Abortion in New Zealand?
The Editors, World Politics Review
Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
New Zealand’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly last month to advance a bill that would decriminalize abortion and loosen restrictions on the procedure. Under current law, women can only obtain an abortion in New Zealand if they receive approval from two doctors, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to change that while campaigning in 2017. The bill must pass two more rounds of voting before it can become law.
According to Yanshu Huang, a research fellow at the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute, Ardern’s push for reform also reflects a broader change in public opinion among New Zealanders, toward more pro-choice views. In an email interview with WPR, she discusses the roots of abortion’s anachronistic classification as a crime in New Zealand and the reasons it took so long for abortion law reform to gain traction.
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.
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:
‘The time is right’: New Zealand’s parliament advances bill that would decriminalize abortion
By Siobhán O'Grady
August 8, 2019
Lawmakers in New Zealand voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of advancing an abortion bill that would dramatically loosen restrictions surrounding the procedure, in one of the most significant steps New Zealand’s leaders have taken toward revising the country’s abortion policies since the late 1970s.
Thursday’s vote was expected to be close, but it advanced easily to the next stage, with 94 voting in favor and 23 against. After further discussion, it will take two more rounds of voting for it to become law.
New Zealand Takes On a Long-Avoided Issue: Decriminalizing Abortion
By Charlotte Graham-McLay
Aug. 5, 2019
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s government said on Monday that it would try to pass a law decriminalizing abortion, taking on an issue that the nation’s lawmakers have long avoided even as the country built a socially liberal reputation on the world stage.
Under current law, women seeking an abortion must claim that the pregnancy would harm their physical or mental health, and have the procedure approved by two doctors.
Abortion law reform is coming to New Zealand, here's what happens next
A bill that would remove abortion from the Crimes Act will go before Cabinet ministers on Tuesday for final approval.
Jul 23 2019
New Zealanders will discover how far the Government plans to liberalise abortion laws in weeks, not months, according to Justice Minister Andrew Little.
Party leaders firmed their positions on abortion on Tuesday with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying she supported decriminalisation, while National leader Simon Bridges would not say whether he would back the bill.
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.
Abortion group says legislation is ‘altering too quick’
By Marta Subat
on November 4, 2018
A group of women who have had abortions have spoken out to caution the prime minister on law reform.
It follows a report back by the Law Commission that recommended ways to decriminalise abortion.
MPs tread cautiously around abortion legislation
Radio New Zealand Wednesday
31 October 2018
Jo Moir, Political Reporter
The Law Commission has reported back on ways to modernise abortion legislation - all of which would decriminalise it - but MPs are taking their time to make up their minds.
In February, Justice Minister Andrew Little asked for advice on how to take abortion out of the Crimes Act and make it a health matter.
Abortion not a crime if Labour delivers on law change
Abortion will be decriminalised if any of three models proposed by the Law Commission are adopted.
26 October 2018
Jo Moir, Political Reporter
Justice Minister Andrew Little asked the Law Commission to provide advice on how to take abortion out of the Crimes Act and make it a health matter.
The alternative approaches include no statutory test for an abortion to take place, a statutory test performed by one health practitioner, and a statutory test performed only after 22 weeks of pregnancy.