GOOD! Abortion Watchdog says nobody is listening.

Abortion watchdog wants changes to the law but says nobody is listening
Stuff 15 February 2018
Family First Comment: The reason nobody is listening is because NZers don’t want the abortion laws weakened or loosened. And Labour and Greens can expect a fight if they try. Join us. Sign our petition

The Abortion watchdog says it hasn’t had a Justice Minister consult with it for years despite pleas for law changes.

It’s been at least three years since the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) was spoken to – the last time was when former National MP Chester Borrows was associate justice minister in October 2014.

Justice Minister Andrew Little is in the process of getting together terms of reference to send to the Law Commission to ask for a review of the abortion laws, but at this stage he hasn’t spoken to the ASC either.

Little said he wouldn’t consult them on the “political decision to take action” because that’s a question for politicians “not those charged with monitoring the law”.

The ASC chairwoman Professor Dame Linda Holloway told MPs at a justice select committee on Thursday that the laws as they stood made it incredibly difficult for women trying to access abortion services.

Auckland in particular had a disproportionately high number of abortions because despite the ASC’s work to get Counties-Manukau DHB to set up an abortion service, it hadn’t.

Home abortions safest, MPs told
NZ Herald 16 February 2018
It would be safer for women having a medical abortion to take the medicine at home, rather than follow an archaic law and travel to a clinic while potentially suffering from bleeding, stomach pain or diarrhoea, MPs have been told.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC), appearing before the justice select committee yesterday, made a plea for abortion law to be updated and for politicians to tackle the issue, noting it had been over three years since a minister last met the committee.

Government working on abortion law
NewsTalk ZB 15 February 2018
The government is moving forward with abortion law reform but will not have a bill in the house for some time, Justice Minister Andrew Little says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would change New Zealand’s abortion laws – which still include abortion in the Crimes Act and haven’t been changed since 1977 – during last year’s election.

Labour moves to legalise abortion
NewsRoom 16 February 2018
Terry Bellamak, President of the Abortion Law Reform Association, said that she would like to see abortion wiped from the Crimes Act and the restrictive grounds for abortion abolished…. Bellamak said she would like New Zealand’s law to be reformed along the lines of Canada. “Canada has absolutely no abortion laws and no regulations around abortion. They simply trust women,” she said.

Little: Unborn children do need legal protection
NewsTalk ZB 16 February 2018
The Justice Minister says even if abortion is removed from the Crimes Act, legal protections must remain for unborn children.

The current legal starting point for abortion is that it is illegal, with women having to prove they will suffer mental or physical harm if forced to continue their pregnancy.

The Government’s currently considering changes to abortion law, after a plea from the Abortion Supervisory Committee.

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