Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Hundreds march to call for decriminalisation of abortion

Hundreds march to Parliament to call for decriminalisation of abortion

About 300 protesters marched to Parliament this afternoon calling on MPs to vote in favour of decriminalising abortion.

protesters at
Parliament. Signs include: Women's Rights are Human Rights;
My Uterus My Choice; A Fetus is a Fetus but a Woman has a
Life

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

A recent report by the Law Commission to the government recommended removing it from the Crimes Act.

There are three alternative approaches on the table for MPs to consider - one is that the decision is for a pregnant person and their doctor to decide, another is that a mental health assessment is carried out for all abortions, and the third would only require a woman's mental health being examined after 22 weeks of pregnancy.

A spokesperson for the group which organised the march Organise Aotearoa's Kate McIntyre said the new recommendations were good but the ideal solution would give more power to the pregnant person.

"We could have it out of the Crimes Act and still have a really restrictive system and so the ideal model would be a choice-based model that leaves the decision in the hands of the mother.

"What we're explicitly arguing for is a choice-based model as opposed to some of the other models."



Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond agreed.

"We're very much supportive of [option a] which is giving women bodily autonomy and going to speak to their health practitioner.

"We're not so supportive at all of option b which still has women going into a level of intervention from a health professional and option c which is a bit of option a with an added extra for a late-term abortions, we're not so happy with that either."

Protesters at
Parliament, showing a megaphone. Signs include: She
decides!; Mind you own uterus

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Ms Edmond said it was important to raise awareness that abortion was still technically classified as a crime in New Zealand.

"It's very much a human right for women to access this service without having to go through a complex process under a crimes act.

"It is broken, it's old, it's out of date, and it really does need to change."

Dame Margaret Sparrow, Wellington doctor and long time advocate for abortion, said it was high time the law changed, but she was optimistic that so many people were out protesting today.

"Forty-one years is too long to have been putting up with such a bad law.

"It's good to see so many people coming out, and so many young people and so many men as well supporting choice... so very heartening to feel that the baton's really being passed on.

"I still remember when it was totally illegal and women could go to jail for seven years theoretically. I remember having to send lots and lots of women to Australia, going out of your own country to get essential healthcare. It's not right."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

News Deserts: The Death March Of Local Journalism

Joseph Cederwall: The corporate media sector seems unable to do anything to halt the raging dumpster fire of consolidation, layoffs and centralisation of content production. All this means we are increasingly seeing ‘news deserts’ appearing in local communities. Illustration by Paul Sahre. More>>

ALSO:

Joseph Cederwall: Journalism Has A Problem - It’s Called Capitalism!

To the extent that solutions exist, they must be solutions that allow journalism to move outside of the broken system that has caused this situation. For this reason, a resurgence in more engaged and community focused local journalism offers hope for a way out of this situation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Justin Trudeau's Fate Matters To NZ

The scandal now engulfing Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party is the kind of train wreck that confirms the public's worst feelings about politicians and their back-room dealings. More>>

Joseph Cederwall: Venezuela; Oil, Neoliberalism And White Supremacy

Venezuela has been suffering a slow-burn, yet devastating internal insurgency and economic war since the optimistic beginnings of the ‘Bolivarian’ socialist revolution in 1998. More>>

ALSO:

Ramzy Baroud: What Price Netanyahu’s Victory

It is quite typical for Israeli politicians to carry out confrontational measures against Palestinians shortly before general elections are due. The nature of these measures is determined by the kind of political constituency that Israeli leaders aim to appease. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog