Simon Bridges: Abortion law change a ‘conscience issue’ for MPs

Radio NZ News 29 October 2018
Family First Comment: Correction to Simon Bridges.
You say “women’s health must be the primary focus of any policy position.”
The health of the unborn child should also be a primary focus.

National Party leader Simon Bridges says it is “important to debate” changing New Zealand’s law on abortion.

Last week the Law Commission delivered a 300-page report to Justice Minister Andrew Little, which outlined abortion law reforms that would remove abortion from the Crimes Act and repeal the need for two doctors to authorise the procedure.

In May this year Mr Bridges said overall the current system was working well, and he did not see a case for change.

However Mr Bridges told Morning Report women’s health must be the primary focus of any policy position and the commission’s report would be discussed at the party caucus.

“I’m going to sit down and read the report, as I understand it, it doesn’t in fact come to conclusions,” he said.

“We’re going to discuss it at the National Party caucus. I think the almost certain position will be this is a conscience issue for individual members of parliament.”

When pushed as to why he had changed his personal, publicly-expressed opinion on the matter, he said the commission’s briefing would need to be looked at before giving any further comment.

“I’ve always been reasonably conservative on these things, but I accept it is important to debate them,” he said.

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