Abortion Law Reform

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 12.07.40 pmThe #abortion rights story globally is a story of #Woman’s history with establishment sexism & of the indignities we face, whilst negotiating systems which have been put in place to deny us our full bodily autonomy & our rights as human beings.

“The implementation of Human Rights should never spark controversy” ~ Jacinda Ardern. In 1968 at the International Conference on Human Rights, family planning became a HumanRights obligation of every nation, government & policymaker.

 We should always have full autonomy of self, body & soul. Family planning including abortion is a Human Right. We should always have the right to choose and should always have access to a safe, legal abortion. Family planning and access to a safe abortion is a critical component of Gender Equality.


Abortion needs to  be decriminalised in Aotearoa New Zealand – Abortion should not be in the Crimes Act.

The first place you should go to learn about about Abortion Law Reform in Aotearoa New Zealand is – ALRANZ

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Also visit Family Planning NZ – The Law around abortion

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Below is a list of books on the history of abortion in New Zealand and current & past news on issues of abortion in Aotearoa NZ with messages from political candidates and Members of Parliament – giving their stance on Abortion Law.

Abortion Then and Now – Margaret Sparrow.

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Risking Their Lives: NZ Abortion Stories 1900–1939 – Margaret Sparrow

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Rough on Women: Abortion in Nineteenth Century New Zealand – Margaret Sparrow

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Fighting to Choose:The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand – Alison McCulloch

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From our 2016 Convention in Wānaka – Listen to why we should change Abortion Law in NZ – Dame Margaret Sparrow – 16 reasons why – 

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Listen here for a discussion with Dame Margaret Sparrow & Terry Bellamak of Aotearoa NZ Abortion Law Reform Association with Amy Pearl of The Weaving House ~ discussing Abortion Law in New Zealand ~ recorded live at Ace Lady HQ Wellington. 

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Abortion – News – NZ

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Abortion Services in NZ

This website aims to provide up-to-date and accurate information on the services available in New Zealand for termination of pregnancy (TOP).

Alternative approaches to abortion law Ministerial briefing paper ~ 2018

A brief history of abortion laws in New Zealand 


Some Opinions from MP’s & Candidates for 2017 General Election NZ – Question – Our abortion law is currently based in the Crimes Act 1961 – Do you think its time to change our current abortion Law?

Jan Logie – “The Green Party supports decriminalising abortion and assert the right of Women to make decisions regarding their own health and well being of their family of whanau. The greens are the only political party in NZ that backs comprehensive abortion reform. The reality that 1 in 4 Women in this country have had an abortion shows that many New Zealanders accept that having an abortion shouldn’t be a crime. There’s a real mismatch between the political unwillingness to talk about it, and the general acceptance in society. It is dishonest and quite cruel to make Women pretend that they’re mentally unwell in order to access an abortion. It makes no sense to make people fake their mental health. In NZ, in 2017, we expect Women to have control over their own bodies as a fundamental right.”

Poto Williams – Christchurch East – “Labour’s position is to first undertake a full review of the law, to be conducted by the Law Commission”

(Please Note, since recieving this email from Labour & Poto – there was a change of leadership in the Labour Party with Jacinda Adern becoming Leader & Labour now along with the Green Party supports Abortion Law Reform.) 

Nicola Willis – National Party – Wellington Central –  “The law should allow Women the choice to access abortions legally and safely. On the evidence I’ve seen the current law allows for that.”

Jin An- Labour Party Upper Harbour – “Yes: I think the law is outdated and does not fit how the majority of the New Zealand society considers the issue.”

Brooke Van Velden – on behalf of ACT Party NZ – “I have always believed in individual freedom and personal choice and this extends to abortion. The choice to have or not have an abortion is an incredibly personal and difficult decision and the only person that knows what’s best for any woman in this position is herself. Nobody believes that 97 per cent of women who have abortions are mentally ill, but as abortion is illegal unless falling under a few scenarios including if the pregnancy is a risk to mental health, it’s what we’re expected to believe. I believe it is time to change our current abortion law and take it out of the Crimes Act. The law is out of date with the majority of New Zealanders’ views that abortion should be legal, and I’d seriously consider putting a bill into the ballot if elected to Parliament.”

Jo Wrigley – Green Candidate – Hamilton West – ” It’s not only time, it’s overdue. We need to decriminalise abortion and reform access in a way that upholds a Woman’s Right To Choose. The Greens are the only political Party in NZ that backs comprehensive abortion reform. Access to abortion should not be a mental health issue and should not require Women to view or consider an unwanted pregnancy through that lens. An unplanned pregnancy is exactly that and a Woman should have the ability to choose the next steps freely and without stigma.”  

Jennie Condie – TOP Party – “Yes! There is a false perception that an abortion is easy to obtain in NZ. On the contrary, around 200 Women a year are refused an abortion in this country. Women are currently forced to lie and jump through unnecessary hoops to obtain an abortion. This makes the entire process far more traumatic than it needs to be. It also causes delays that push many procedures outside of the recommended 9 week threshold, which means the abortion pills that cause miscarriage are no longer an option and  a surgical procedure is required. It is The Opportunities Party Policy that abortion should be removed from the Crimes Act. This would not be a conscience vote – all MPs would vote party line on this issue. We favour the Canadian model where abortion comes under health regulations.”

Andrew Faloon – National candidate for Rangitata – “I would need to review whatever changes were proposed, but I’m not convinced a change is required given the general availabilty of abortion at present.” 

 Hessel Van Wieren –  Waitaki Candidate Democrats for Social Credit-“We as a party do not have formal policy on any changes, and probably would opt for conscience votes on any changes proposed. This issue has huge implications and facets that are avoided , for example,how many parents cant have children, yet from my knowledge of speaking to some , it is extremely hard to find an unwanted child to adopt.” 

Damon Rusden – Green Party –“The Green Party supports decriminalising abortion and assert the right of women to make decisions regarding their own health and the wellbeing of their family or whanau….” 

Tane Woodley – Green Party List Candidate – “It’s well past time to change our abortion laws. I don’t like abortion, but I see it as an essential part of our health system. History teaches us that there will always be women (and girls) who, for reasons of their own, do not want to have the baby they find themselves carrying. I dont’ want to stigmtise these girls women, and forcing them to either have a baby they don’t want or seek a backyard abortionist where they risk their health and their lives. Clean, legal, open, safe medical abortions must be made available. I said I don’t like abortions, and I don’t. Therefore I would also like to see comprehensive sex education for young people, and also guidance to parents/guardians on how to talk to their children about sex. I would like to see contraception made available widely and at a very low, subsidised price. I would like there to be easier adoption procedures, especially open adoptions, and also much more comprehensive, accessible and subsidised child support arrangments. These measures will hopefully lower the abortion rate through lower unwanted pregnancies (education and contraception) and make it easier for babies to be supported (adoption and child support). Abortion will then be available to those women and girls for whom these measures are not sufficient. Men also have a role to play in this situation; it took a man to make the baby in the first place. I haven’t quite figured out how exactly men fit into this situation in a way that doesn’t risk forcing women to have babies they may not want to. But I’m open to suggestions.”

Thomas Corbett – ACT in Rangitata electorate – “I think it is time to change the abortion law; yes. The bare minimum is for it to be removed from the Crimes Act 1961.”