New Zealand /Australia – New clinical guideline for abortion care released

The guidance has been described as an ‘important step’ towards universal access to safe and high-quality abortion care.

Jolyon Attwooll
06 Nov 2023

A new clinical guideline developed by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has been released.

Targeted at registered health professionals who provide abortion advice and care in both Australia and New Zealand, the document is the first binational guideline on abortion.


New Zealand – RANZCOG guideline expected to be ‘helpful’ for GPs

The RACGP has said a new evidence-based abortion care guideline will support clinicians involved in reproductive healthcare.

Jolyon Attwooll
06 Sep 2023

The RACGP has expressed its support for a draft clinical guideline on abortion care compiled by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

In a response sent to RANZCOG last week, the college said the guideline is detailed and will support GPs involved in reproductive healthcare.


New Zealand – Big win for Dunedin’s ‘dicks guy’

Hamish McNeilly
Aug 01 2023

Sam Sharpe continues to hold a counter protest over anti abortion protesters who gather outside Dunedin Hospital on Fridays. Dunedin’s famous ‘Dicks guy’, will soon be a dicks guy no longer.

Sam Sharpe has famously led a counter-protest against abortion protesters near an abortion clinic at Dunedin Hospital every Friday for nearly ten years.


Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Safe Areas around abortion service providers will be in place from 25 August 2023

27 July 2023
New Zealand government

Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Safe Areas around abortion service providers will be in place from 25 August 2023, to protect the safety, wellbeing, privacy and dignity of people who are accessing or providing abortion services.

Safe Areas cover up to 150 metres around a premises where abortion services are provided. They prohibit certain behaviours that could be considered distressing to a person accessing or providing abortion services.


New Zealand – Luxon vows to resign if abortion access curbed under any future govt he leads

Sun, Jun 11

Opposition leader Christopher Luxon has vowed to resign should access to abortion become more restricted if he becomes the prime minister after October's election.

He added that changing abortion laws is "not what New Zealanders are interested in right now". Luxon made the pledge on Q+A this morning.


New Zealand women to be able to access abortion over the phone

Women in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy will be able to obtain abortion medication after a telephone consultation

Tess McClure in Auckland
Fri 28 Oct 2022

Women across New Zealand will be able to order an abortion over the phone from as early as next week, as the country becomes one of the few in the world to offer a full national telehealth service for the procedure.

The country is rolling out the final stage of its abortion telemedicine services, with a national hotline that will provide clinical consultations for an early medical abortion, then courier out medications.


New Zealand – With doorstep pill delivery, having an abortion is about to get a whole lot easier

Sylvia Giles
Oct 2, 2022

Next month, access to early medical abortion will massively increase with the roll-out of doorstep delivery service. What does that mean for patients – and for surgical providers?

It’s what people who are pregnant and don’t want to be have wanted “since the beginning of time”, says Dr Janet Downs.


New Zealand – Student Reports “Outrageous” Abortion Experience

Hospital apologises for how she “felt” she was treated

Saturday 23rd April 2022
by Keegan Wells and Fox Meyer

A student trying to get an abortion has criticised Dunedin Hospital for a “disgusting” and “disrespectful” experience. She is currently undergoing her third procedure for the same pregnancy, which she believed could’ve been avoided if information was presented differently.

A few weeks ago, Grace* woke up feeling pretty ill. She got tested for Covid, but that came back negative, so she decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. A few hours later, her doctor back home called her to inform her that her Covid test was actually positive, too: a nightmare test result scenario.


New Zealand – New law to see protest-free ‘safe zones’ allowed outside abortion clinics

By Irra Lee, 1News Digital Producer
Wed, Mar 16, 2022

“Safe zones” can now be established around specific abortion facilities, restricting protest behaviour in those areas, after a proposed law passed its third reading in Parliament on Wednesday evening.

The bill passed with 108 votes in favour and 12 against. For Labour, 62 voted in favour and three (Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, Neru Leavasa, Jamie Strange) against.


Gender Equality and the Complete Decriminalisation of Abortion

Mara Malagodi, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law
November 10, 2021

Recent legal changes in a number of jurisdictions that have entirely decriminalised abortion are steeped in the language of gender constitutionalism and human rights – whether these changes have taken place via constitutional litigation or statutory reform. As a result, the campaigns for complete decriminalisation in other jurisdictions have now begun to engage in a pragmatic comparative law exercise to advance their cause. Activists deploy the legal arguments and strategies marshalled in those jurisdictions that have completely removed abortion from the purview of their criminal laws alongside domestic constitutional principles and international human rights standards. As such, we are witnessing a global cross-pollination of legal ideas anchored in substantive notions of gender equality and human dignity to challenge legal restrictions to women’s bodily autonomy.

Abortion is the only medical procedure that continues to be consistently treated as a crime around the world. Even those jurisdictions that have partially liberalised their legal regimes continue to criminalise abortion outside of the terms explicitly provided by law. Only a handful of jurisdictions such as China (1979 – excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Canada (1988), Northern Ireland (2019), New Zealand (2020), and Australia (2021), have entirely removed abortion from the purview of their penal laws. Canada did so via constitutional litigation, while the other jurisdictions via statutory reform.