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ALRANZ Congratulates Ireland

ALRANZ congratulates the Republic of Ireland on the repeal of the 8th amendment. The Irish Times has reported exit polls predict a landslide in favour of changing the constitution to permit the government to introduce legislation allowing pregnant people to access abortion care in Ireland.

“After years of scathing criticism from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights, and Amnesty International, years of women being forced to travel to another country to receive necessary health care, and the unnecessary death of Savita Halappanavar, the Irish government has finally given Irish people a chance to speak. They overwhelmingly said yes to bodily autonomy, human dignity, and the human rights of women and pregnant people,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.

“If Ireland can cast away medieval opinion and embrace the reality that women are people, so can New Zealand.”

“The Irish government has promised to introduce legislation providing for abortion care on request up to 12 weeks, with no reason given. When the law is passed, Ireland’s abortion laws will be more progressive than New Zealand’s.”

The Ministry of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

ALRANZ wants to reform New Zealand’s laws around abortion. Under New Zealand’s abortion laws, two certifying consultants must approve every abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act. Those grounds do not include rape, nor the most common reasons cited overseas: contraception failure and the inability to support a child.

Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion on request.

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