New Zealand passes landmark law to decriminalise abortion
Campaigners hail move that will reclassify abortion as a health issue rather than a crime
Eleanor Ainge Roy
Wed 18 Mar 2020
New Zealand has passed a landmark bill to decriminalise abortion after decades of campaigning.
Andrew Little, the justice minister, said it was long overdue that the procedure would become classified as a health matter and not a criminal one.
The issue was scheduled to be put to a public referendum, but the government scrapped that option late on Wednesday.
Abortion reformists fuming after MPs scrap creation of 'safe zones' around clinics
Mar 11, 2020
Abortion reformists are fuming after politicians scrapped the creation of 'safe zones' outside abortion facilities because MPs were seemingly asleep at the wheel during the vote.
An element of the new abortion law would have allowed hospitals and clinics to apply for 'safe zones', where protesters couldn't interfere or interrupt patients or staff.
Pro-choice protestors to rally around NZ for abortion law reform
Feb 18, 2020
Pro-choice protestors are set to rally around New Zealand today in support of abortion law reform.
“Now is the time for people who care about women and pregnant people to come out to the National Day of Action and show the politicians we need change," said Terry Bellamak, National President of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ).
The Abortion Legislation Bill, which passed its first reading last year at 94 votes to 23, is under a conscience vote, meaning MPs will vote in the next reading on what they individually believe, rather than along party lines.
2019 Women of Influence Awards finalists announced
Sep 01 2019
82 finalists have been announced for the 2019 Women of Influence Awards.
2019 was a big year for Terry Bellamak, National President ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa. The crowning achievement of which, was of course, playing a pivotal role in driving Abortion Law Reform Bill discussions.
Bellamak has been nominated for the Community Hero category. "It's an honour," to be a finalist she said. "ALRANZ is fundamentally a community group."
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:
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.
Denying the right to an abortion is a form of tyranny
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.
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.
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.