Abortion not a crime if Labour delivers on law change

Radio NZ News 26 October 2018
Family First Comment:  “Family First expressed disappointment in the review and said most of the submissions made to the Law Commission were not in favour of abortion. The Law Commission did admit this in the report, but added a significant number of the submissions not in favour of abortion were made using a Family First “I’m with both” pamphlet.”
In other words….
“We didn’t like what they said” – Law Commission

Abortion will be decriminalised if any of three models proposed by the Law Commission are adopted.

Justice Minister Andrew Little asked the Law Commission to provide advice on how to take abortion out of the Crimes Act and make it a health matter.

The alternative approaches include no statutory test for an abortion to take place, a statutory test performed by one health practitioner, and a statutory test performed only after 22 weeks of pregnancy.

New Zealand’s abortion law is more than 40 years old and starts with the proposition abortion is a crime.

Decriminalising abortion would mean removing the requirement for two doctors to sign off an abortion, scrapping the referral process, and removing restrictions around where abortions take place.

The Law Commission received more than 3000 public submissions and Mr Little will consult with colleagues before making any decisions.

“I acknowledge that the subject of abortion is a personal one for each MP,” Mr Little said.

“I will be taking time to talk to my colleagues across all parties about the Law Commission’s briefing before progressing further.”

In December, Family First commissioned a poll of 1013 New Zealanders that found 52 percent of people generally support abortion, while 29 percent are opposed.

Fifty-three percent of those who generally support abortion thought the time limit for getting one should be less than the current 20 weeks stated in the Crimes Act.

In a poll commissioned by the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand last year, the majority supported abortion being legalised.

In the lead-up to the election last year Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pledged she would shift abortion out of the Crimes Act, where it has been since 1977.

Ardern said at the time “there will be a majority of parliament that think ‘actually in 2017 women shouldn’t face being criminals for accessing their own rights'”.

 Abortion Law review findings released
NewsHub 29 October 2018 
The Law Commission has released the findings of its review into abortion law, recommending three possible new models for accessing abortion.

Minister of Justice Andrew Little wrote to the commission asking for a review in February 2018. He wanted it to consider removing abortion from the crimes act and instead treating it as a health issue.

He said on Friday he would be discussing with his colleagues at Parliament before taking the matter further.

Green Party MP Jan Logie welcomed the review and said New Zealand needed to make changes to the current abortion law.

“We want to see abortion laws that reflect the needs of people seeking to terminate a pregnancy, and recognise the importance of women’s bodily autonomy,” she said in a statement.

Currently a person must say they are physically or mentally incapable of continuing the pregnancy and gain permission from two certifying consultants before they are able to get an abortion.
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/10/abortion-law-review-findings-released.html

Abortion law reform options an improvement – advocate
Radio NZ News 27 October 2018
The Justice Minister says it’s too soon to say whether MPs will vote to change abortion laws.

The Law Commission has recommended decriminalising abortion and making it simpler for a woman to get a procedure.

The minister, Andrew Little, asked the Law Commission in February for options on changing the 40-year-old law, and it reported back yesterday. Mr Little will now consult with his government partners and take a paper to Cabinet.

Any changes to abortion laws would be a conscience matter for MPs.

“A poll carried out by Family First of all organisations showed actually that the majority of New Zealanders support the idea of access to abortion – so people do want it.

“The submission process for an exercise like the one that the Royal Commission carried out is going to attract with a particular interest in it.”
READ MORE: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/369587/abortion-law-reform-options-an-improvement-advocate 
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