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.
by Michelle Duff
Nov 8 2016, Broadly
Once, a load of wet cement was dumped on her driveway. It did not dissuade her.
Dame Margaret Sparrow was 21 when she carried out her DIY abortion. The year was 1956; if you didn't want a baby, there were few ways out. She sent away for an inky-black elixir from a chemist rumoured to know about such things, and it arrived in the post in a brown paper bag.
"I have no idea what the mixture contained, whether it was a health risk or what the margin of safety was," Margaret writes in her book Abortion: Then & Now.
She was desperate. It worked. She had the equivalent of a heavy period, which came earlier than usual. "It happened when I was at work and was not in the least traumatic," she recalls. "Anticlimactic, really."
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