Lack of South Auckland abortion services ‘unacceptable’

Local abortion services remain unavailable to people living in much of the sprawling South Auckland area - which has a population of close to 600,000 and encapsulates some of the most deprived suburbs of New Zealand - despite the issue being repeatedly raised for more than 12 years.

21 December 2020
Susan Strongman

People living within the Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB) catchment who need an abortion must travel to the affluent central Auckland suburb of Greenlane. Experts say this creates an access barrier for South Auckland women.

Financial barriers created by the lack of a local service can include the cost of travel, childcare and taking time off work. For people living in Counties Manukau, where the population is younger, and more deprived than elsewhere in New Zealand, those costs can be significant. The area is also home to a high number of Pacific peoples, of whom 64 percent are 'highly deprived', according to Health Ministry data. The Counties Manukau DHB describes Pacific peoples' engagement with and access to health services when they need them as being "a challenge".


New Zealand – Abortion Statistics: Year Ended December 2019

Abortion Statistics: Year Ended December 2019

Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Press Release: Statistics New Zealand

Far fewer women aged under 20 years had abortions in recent years compared with a decade ago, Stats NZ said today.

Abortions for women under 20 have been decreasing since the peak in 2007. In 2019, just under 10 percent of the 12,857 abortions were for women under 20. In 2007, it was 23 percent.


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:


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.


New Zealand – Editorial: Abortion law needs to catch up with real life

Editorial: Abortion law needs to catch up with real life

6 Nov, 2018

Abortion is not a subject most people want to discuss, either as personal experience or as a matter of public policy. New Zealanders who remember our abortion debate of the 1970s probably have no wish to repeat it, but it looks likely the country will need to. The Labour Party wants to remove abortion from the criminal law and treat it as a health matter. Justice Minister Andrew Little has taken the first step, getting advice from the Law Commission on how that might be done.

The debate of 40 years ago ended, as difficult issues often do, in a compromise that satisfied neither side. The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 set out conditions under which abortion could be legally performed in New Zealand. Essentially two doctors had to decide that a pregnancy met one of the conditions under which abortion was permitted on the Crimes Act.


New Zealand – Big Read: Abortion law reform – what’s at stake?

Big Read: Abortion law reform - what's at stake?
17 Jun, 2018
20 minutes to read
By: Dawn Picken

Abortion is in the spotlight again, after voters in Ireland voted overwhelmingly late last month to overturn the largely Catholic country's ban by 66.4 per cent to 33.6 per cent. The Emerald Isle's referendum comes as a law commission in New Zealand considers removing abortion from the Crimes Act. Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reporter Dawn Picken spoke with advocates, activists and women who've had or considered abortions about what decriminalising the procedure means to them.

*note: names of women who've had abortions have been changed to protect privacy.
Heartbreaking Pregnancy

Tania and Scott were thrilled when they learned they were pregnant with their second child. Everything was going well when the couple went for their 20-week ultrasound to learn the baby's sex. It was a boy, says Tania.


New Zealand – It’s okay to be uncomfortable about abortion

It’s okay to be uncomfortable about abortion

Nicole Skews-Poole | Guest writer
Feb 24, 2018

With the announcement that Labour is moving towards abortion law reform, New Zealand is gearing up to talk about a topic that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. So how can we acknowledge and move past the discomfort towards a law that works?

In case you didn’t realise, abortion is still in the Crimes Act. Provision is available through technicalities and regulated by a set of outdated laws. Patients and healthcare providers are required to jump through hoops and sometimes even lie to obtain permission from two certifying consultants.


New Zealand – Abortion watchdog wants changes to the law but says nobody is listening

Abortion watchdog wants changes to the law but says nobody is listening

Jo Moir
Feb 15, 2018

The Abortion watchdog says it hasn't had a Justice Minister consult with it for years despite pleas for law changes.

It's been at least three years since the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) was spoken to - the last time was when former National MP Chester Borrows was associate justice minister in October 2014.


New Zealand: Current abortion law and proposed changes

Q+A: Current abortion law and proposed changes

September 6 2017

Jacinda Ardern and Bill English clashed over the issue during Monday's televised leaders debate.

When the Abortion Supervisory Committee described New Zealand's abortion laws as "offensive" and outdated, Prime Minister Bill English said any liberalising of the legislation wasn't going to happen on his watch.

But it will on mine, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern promised during Monday's leaders debate. She said if she were elected she would review the legislation which hasn't been altered since 1977.

Continued at source:

Abortion Is Still A Crime In New Zealand And Now It Is An Election Issue

Abortion Is Still A Crime In New Zealand And Now It Is An Election Issue
"People need to be able to make their own decision."

Posted on September 06, 2017
Gina Rushton
BuzzFeed News Reporter, Australia

"Because it is 2017," New Zealand's opposition leader Jacinda Ardern tells BuzzFeed News when asked why she'd take abortion out of the nation's criminal code if she wins at the polls on September 23.

The prime minister of New Zealand Bill English and Ardern, the Labour leader, were put on the spot about the issue of abortion during an election debate on Monday, ahead of this month's election.

Continued at source: Buzzfeed: