Stuff co.nz 7 June 2014
The Greens have ratified a policy on abortion, which would get rid of a process a certified consultant says is “perfectly workable”.
Abortion is a crime under the Crimes Act, and is legal only if two consultants agree that the pregnancy would seriously harm the woman’s physical or mental health, or that there is a substantial risk the child would be born seriously disabled.
The Greens want abortion removed from the crime statutes, saying it would reduce stigma and judgment surrounding the procedure. This would mean a woman seeking one would not need external approval.
Family First NZ rejected the Greens’ call, saying the existing safeguards were there to protect women and children.
“Along with protecting the rights of the unborn child, we need to protect the rights of women and young girls to know the medical facts in order that they can make fully informed de cisions,” spokeswoman Marina Young said. “The current safe guards are a small step towards that.”
Statistics from 2012, the latest available, showed 14,745 abortions were carried out in New Zealand, the lowest number since 1995. The median age of women having an abortion was 25 years and in 62 per cent of cases it was the woman’s first abortion.