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Abortions: safe and rare?

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 19 June 2008

Abortions: safe and rare?

The intention of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 was to ensure that in New Zealand, abortions were safe and rare, according to UnitedFuture MP Judy Turner, in response to the recent ruling by Justice Millar in the Wellington High Court on the judicial review of the performance of the Abortion Supervisory Committee.

“What Justice Millar seems to be saying is that while abortions may be safe, they are by no means rare and that the Abortion Supervisory Committee seems to be misinterpreting its function and powers,” she says.

“Regardless of what side of the debate one takes on this polarising issue, it is clear that everyone agrees that our rate of terminations is unacceptably high.

“My concern is that politicians, fearing the polarising nature of the issue, will choose not to engage in the debate as to how to bring our statistics down based on the common concern that does exist.

“While I share concerns about the application of the law by the current supervisory committee, I think that we also need to be taking a serious look at our failing messages about sexual and reproductive health.

“For decades we have thrown money at the same providers of health messages despite their demonstrable failure to have any impact,” says Mrs Turner.


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